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Tke zAuthoress begs to tender her grateful 
thanks to His Excellency M. Chedomille 
MijATOViCH^ Servian Minister at the 
Court of St. JameSy also to Madame 
Elodie Mijatovich^ for their kind help 
to her in the compilation of this volume. 



It is likely to be some time before Europe will have recovered 
from the shock it received at the assassination of the late King 
and Qjueen of Servia. In England particularly we have 
come to think of civilization as something essentially bound 
up with limited monarchy^ parliamentary government^ and 
the complete supremacy of the Civil power. When we are 
suddenly confronted with the self-assertion of the military 
element in a European State^ with a revolution accomplished 
by physical violence and bloodshed^ and the triumph of the 
murdererSy we are apt to think that the Powers are nursing 
in their midst a relic from the age of barbarism. We forget 
that Servia is a comparatively new State, The domestic life 
of its people is far more " modem " and " civilized " than 
its political life. The latter in its origin was necessarily 
steeped in war and bloodshed^ and its political traditions have 
not yet been completely purged by the spirit of order which 
has been gradually moulding the habits of the people. More- 
over, a long-standing vendetta between the rival houses has 
for the best part of a century made the throne an object of 


dispute. It is not very long since we have seen in France y 
in Spainy and in Italy violence^ or threats of violence^ due 
to rival claimants to the throne^ or rival forms of government. 
But in Servia this rivalry has long been an inheritance. 
The situation has been aggravated by the fact that Servia 
is one of the small States of the Balkan Peninsula jealously 
watched by three rivals for supremacy — Russia^ Austria^ and 
Turkey. I shall have to show in this little book how in- 
sidiouSy how treacherouSy and how shameless a part was 
played by Russian diplomacy in the events immediately leading 
up to the assassination of Alexander and T)raga. 

I have been particularly fortunate in the help I have re- 
ceived in securing definite and authentic informationy both about 
the murdery the events preceding //, and the persons who 
participated in it. First of all I must acknowledge a debt 
of gratitude to His Excellencyy M, Chedomille Mijatovichy 
the Servian Minister at the Court of St. James, without 
whose assistance this book could never have been put to- 
gether. I have to thank him for giving me free access 
to an important paper he had in his possession ; for lending 
me many of the interesting photographs which are repro- 
duced in this volume ; and for supplying me by word of 
mouth with a host of information which I could not have 
secured from any other source. Moreover, he has kindly 
read over the proof-sheetSy and corrected the errors he has 


noticed. His Excellency, on receiving the official despatch of 
the tragedy, at once tendered his resignation ; up to the time 
of going to press, however, this had not been accepted. 

I have thought that the best way of presenting the truth 
about the recent tragedy was to write in outline a history of 
the royal families of Servia, At best I have only been 
able to give a brief sketchy suggesting the different influences 
which have been brought to bear both from within the State 
and from without. Circumstances have compelled me to write 
the book at high pressure^ and the style at any rate has suffered 
in consequence. The last chapter had to be written when I 
was laid up by illness. But I say this^ not with a view to 
forestall criticism^ but to draw attention to the matter rather 
than to the form. I have hopes that the truth of my narrative, 
of which I can speak with certainty^ may atone for defects in 
he style. 

F, NoRTHESK Wilson. 


























The Late King Alexander I. of Servia, with his Autograph (Photo- 
gravure), Frontispiece. 
King Alexander of Servia at the Age of Six. 
King Alexander as a Boy. 
The Assassinated King and Queen of Servia. 
Archbishop Michael, who officiated at the Marriage of King Milan 

and Queen Natalie in 1875, ^'^^ who anointed King Alexander 

in 1889. 
King Milan in Court Dress. 
The Late King Milan I. of Servia, from a Painting in the possession 

of His Excellency the Servian Minister. 
Archbishop Innocentius. 
Prince Milosh Obrenovitch. 
Prince Michael Obrenovitch, from a Painting in the possession of 

His Excellency the Servian Minister. 
King Alexander and Queen Draga. 
His Excellency M. Chedomille Mijatovich, Servian Minister at the 

Court of St. James. 
Her Excellency Madame Elodie L. Mijatovich. 
Queen Natalie, Mother of King Alexander. 
Archbishop Theodosius, who pronounced the Divorce between 

Queen Natalie and King Milan. 
Queen Natalie in Servian Dress. 

Queen Natalie with her Son Alexander at the Age of Three. 
The Old Abbey of Zitcha, in which during the Middle Ages 

Servian Kings were crowned, and in which King Alexander 

was anointed in 1889. 



Colonel Maschine, Brother-in-law to Queen Draga. 
Nikola Lunyevitza, Queen Draga's Second Brother. 
General Lazar Petrowitch, Aide-de-camp to King Alexander, who 

confronted the Officers with Revolver and Drawn Sword, and 

was fatally shot. 
General Pawlowitch, Minister of War, killed in his own House by 

the Officers. 
General Zinzar Markowitz, the Prime Minister, who was assassinated 

in his House the same Night as the King and Queen. 
Princess Lily Mirko, now Princess Mirko of Montenegro. 
Queen Draga's Wardrobe Room, the Scene of the Final Act in the 

Servian Tragedy. 
The Royal Bedchamber, where the Servian King and Queen were 

A Former E very-day Scene in Belgrade : King Alexander driving 

without Escort. 
King Alexander's Bodyguard. 
The Church of St. Mark, where the murdered King and Queen are 

The Late King Alexander on a Hunting Expedition. 
King Peter I. 
Prince Peter, Heir to the Servian Throne. 






On the hot, sultry evening of Thursday, June nth, 
sentries were pacing to and fro before the Palace, 
or Konak, in Belgrade. All the fever of murmuring 
rebellion was forgotten in the quiet of the Palace 
walls. Again Queen Draga had triumphed. But 
this time her victory over the Constitution and the 
officers of the Army was complete ; King Alexander 
had consented to abolish the Constitution and 
nominate Nicodim, brother of Queen Draga, his 
successor to the throne. 

But whilst the Queen sat in the Palace, clad in 
beautiful garments, and contentedly plying her 
needle, not far off a band of conspirators had come 

" To-night^' said M. Velkovitch, as he shook 
a paper in the faces of the men, who, stern- 
faced and grim, wore the appearance of judges 
rather than desperate men intent on a desperate 


17 2 


** To-night,'* repeated Velkovitch. "It is our 
heads or theirs. We are all proscribed. Here we 
have it in the King's own writing — more than a 
hundred of us marked out as traitors awaiting 

Colonel Maschine nodded approval. He was 
brother-in-law of the Queen, and felt for her 
a personal hatred which inflamed his political 

** This paper," he said slowly, with the wolfish 
smile that changed his whole countenance — '* this 
paper has been stolen from the King's desk. He 
does not know we are informed of his plans. But 
we owe it to our country to execute the woman 
Draga, who has dragged down the King to be the 
tool of her purpose." 

**Ay! to kill the woman Draga." 

** But the King? — we would spare the King." 

The conspirators drew closer together, and amid 
their hoarse whispers were matured the plans which 
afterwards achieved success in a carnival of blood. 
But all agreed that the King should have his 
chance of life. ^| 

On that last night of peace and quiet it is 
known that the King revelled in the triumph he 



thought he had finally won over his turbulent soldier 
subjects. Nothing could seemingly have been more 
harmonious than the attitude of the Queen, a beauti- 
ful, bewitching woman, whose splendid dark eyes 
could express all the fervour of her varied emotions. 
As she sat there, laughing and talking with the 
young King, whose adoration had never waned, she 
looked forward to many things ; the danger of her 
position seemed but to have stimulated in her the 
joy of living. Her power and the knowledge that 
the murmurers were silenced gave her no pre- 
sentiment that it was a game of life and death for 
the King and for her. 

There came a knock at the door; one of the 
traitors was demanding audience. At a sign the 
Queen entered an adjoining room. It was a strange 
and dreadful moment when the King saw the im- 
perious Colonel Naoumovitch before him. 

*' Sire, again in your own interests, we demand 
of you, do you abolish the Constitution and put 
together a packed assembly to proclaim Nicodim 
heir to the Servian Throne ? " 

"I do absolutely," came a soft voice from the 
inner room. 

" I do absolutely," repeated the King. " This 


is an unwarrantable, insufferable intrusion," he 

*' Pardon, Sire," said the officer with emotion ; 
** up to now we are sworn in allegiance to your 
Majesty, but to the woman Draga — — " 

*' Silence ! " thundered the King. '* I am ruler 
of Servia, and the Army obeys me." 

" Sire," cried out the officer, " I would warn 
your Majesty — the consequences of your act will be 

The young King laughed and repeated the 
sentence which has since become famous: ''Do 
what you will I you will not dare touch me. You 
are my officers y my soldiers, sworn to meT 

The Queen in her magnificent morning gown 
(she always loved to appear exquisitely clothed) 
suddenly entered. Her eyes were no longer tender 
or alluring, they were no longer the eyes of Draga 
Maschine the adventuress. 

** I am Queen. We have no heir — my brother 
succeeds to Servia." With those words she pro- 
nounced her own doom. 

* » # * # 

The last interview on that memorable night must 
have shaken all peace from the Queen's heart, for 


neither she nor the King had retired at their accus- 
tomed hour. Already the Palace was in darkness, 
the electric light turned off at the main, when the 
first noise of tumult reached their ears, the first shot 
rang through the Palace. Some said that in the 
confusion the faithful aide-de-camp had fired in the 
King's defence. Inflamed with the first success of 
murder, the conspirators rushed from room to room. 
Murder and worse than murder was in the echo of 
the bursting doors and the rushing of feet, sabres 
plunged into the beds, and sounds of groans and 
torture. But there was a hush before the inner 
door was burst open. Within, clinging together, 
Draga and Alexander whispered their last words. 
Each knew that life depended on their separation, 
and life was sweet. 

But as the murderers, bursting open the door, 
cried in self-exoneration, '' Give up the woman 
Draga," the King, for all his desperate plight, cried 
back : 

"Never! never! we love one another.'* 

Thus one likes to think of him, shielding with his 

body the woman he loved, with nothing abject about 

him in those last moments. He faced the howling 

of his enemies and the swords still dripping with the 


blood of his defenders. Never again could Belgrade 
be called the White City. It was the City of Death, 
its wonderful history palpitating with the quick pulse 
of memory. The throne which a new King ascends 
is still slippery with blood. 





The Servians (''Serbi," as they call themselves) 
are a distinct national individuality within the family 
of Slavonic nations. Together with the Croats, 
Czechs (or Bohemians), Slovaks, Poles, Bulgarians, 
and Russians, they form the Slavonic national 
family. They consider all these other nations as 
their cousins, but are strongly imbued with the 
consciousness that they are a distinct nationality, 
which has played an important part in the history of 
Europe during the middle ages, and which ought to 
keep its distinct and independent position also in the 
future. They are much attached to their national 



language, which is recognised as the richest and 
most musical among all the Slavonic languages. 

The Servians inhabit, besides the proper kingdom 
of Servia, Southern Hungary, Croatia, Dalmatia, 
Bosnia, Hertzegovina, Montenegro, Old Servia 
('' Kossovo Vilayet "), the North and North-Western 
part of Macedonia. They are believed to number 
altogether between eight and nine millions. 

But we are here concerned more particularly 
with the kingdom of Servia, in the capital of which 
the terrible tragedy of June nth took place. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, 
just before the first rising of the Servians under Kara 
George in 1804, Servia was a miserable Turkish 
province, a *' pashalic," governed only nominally by 
a ''Vizer" sent from Constantinople, but practically 
exploited as a private estate by a company of Turkish 
rebels against the Sultan and freebooters, called 
*' Dahees." Except the old Roman road leading 
from Nish (Naissus) to Belgrade (Singidunum), 
there was no other road in the country. There were 
only *' paths" for oxen and horses and pedestrians, 
leading from different villages to^ Belgrade and the 
small towns on the Nish- Belgrade road. The 
villages themselves were hidden deep in the woods 



and forests, to be in that way more secure against 
the lawless attacks of the freebooting Turks, and 
consisted of most miserable huts, not much better 
than those of Central Africa. There was not a 
single public school in the country. In a few old 
monasteries young men, who aspired to be ordained 
priests one day, were taught by old monks to read 
and write in old Slavonic fashion. Most churches 
were half ruins, as the Turks would allow neither 
the building of new ones nor repairing of old ones. 
There was no export trade at all. The population- 
did not amount to more than 300,000 inhabitants. 

What a contrast to that picture presents the Servia 
of to-day ! 

The superficial area of Servia is something above 
19,000 square miles (48,303 kilom-carrds). Its popu- 
lation, according to the last census (1900), was 
2,500,000. Its natural growth is so constant and 
rapid that it is computed it will reach nearly three 
millions before 19 10. 

The population is almost homogeneous, inasmuch 
as with the exception of 160,000 Roumanians (Vallachs),. 
46,000 gypsies, about 7,000 Germans, and 5,000 Jews, 
the whole remaining population consists of Servians. 

Servia has now 1,278 well-regulated and well-to-da 


villages and thirty larger flourishing towns, of which 
Belgrade, the capital, has 70,000 inhabitants. 

Public instruction is free and compulsory. There 
are now in Servia 860 normal or elementary schools 
for boys and 150 for girls. Besides these there are 
14 middle schools with classical instruction, 12 middle 
schools without such instruction, 6 higher colleges 
for girls, 2 Polytechnical schools, i theological college, 
2 schools for teachers, i college for higher commercial 
education, i school for agriculture, and a special 
school for vineyards. Besides that, there is a 
superior school for the education of military officers 
{military academy in Belgrade), and a small university 
{with three faculties) called ** Velika shkola." In 
spite of all these efforts, on an average from a 
hundred Servians only about twenty can read and 
write. But enlightenment is progressing steadily. 

Servia is practically an agricultural and cattle-rear- 
ing country. Out of every 1,000 inhabitants 835 
are farmers and land labourers. Landed property is 
very much divided, and the country consists mainly 
of small freehold farms. Almost every villager has 
some land of his own. The small land proprietor is 
specially protected by law, inasmuch as a certain 
minimum of ground (five acres), one pair of oxen. 



and the plough and agricultural implements cannot 
be sold for debt. That law, and the generally fruitful 
land, brought about a state of things which has gained 
for Servia the appellation of Poor Mans Paradise. 
According to the last census, Servia had 170,000 
horses, 915,700 oxen, 905,750 pigs, 3,097,000 sheep, 
and 525,990 goats. 

The principal articles of Servian export are pigs, 
cattle, dried prunes, and cereals. The principal 
articles of import are cotton, linen, iron manu- 
factures, salt, and mineral oil. The principal markets 
for Servian products are Austria and Germany ; 
some prunes go as far as America. In the last 
two or three years successful attempts have been 
made to send to the London market fresh mutton 
and cured hams and bacon. The total value of the 
Servian exports amounted in the last year (1902) to 
about 70,000,000 francs (^2,800,000), while the total 
value of imports did not surpass 50,000,000 francs 

Military service is compulsory. Every Servian 
is obliged to serve in the '* Regular Army" for two 
years (nominally, but practically not more than one 
year) between his twentieth and thirtieth year ; 
after that he is transferred to ''the first call of the 


National Army," to which he belongs between the 
thirtieth and fortieth year of his life ; and between 
his fortieth and fiftieth year he belongs to the 
second class of the National Army. 

The Regular Army consists of fivG divisions of 
infantry, each one consisting of four regiments, 
each regiment of four battalions. In addition to these 
eighty battalions there are yet twenty battalions of 
complementary forces. Practically, Servia, in the 
case of war, can bring into the field some 80,000 
trained soldiers of the Regular Army, 45 batteries 
of artillery, and five divisions of cavalry, altogether 
about 120,000 men. The first class of the National 
Army can give about 100,000 men ; whereas the 
second class has on its registers some 60,000. 
Servians like to boast that in case of need they 
could bring into the field 300,000 well-armed men. 

The national revenue amounted in the last three 
years to about 70,000,000 francs, the direct taxation 
(land, personal tax, income tax) bringing in about 
22,000,000, Custom Houses 12,000,000, and State 
monopolies (salt, tobacco, matches, etc.) nearly 
30,000,000 of francs. 

The national debt amounts to about 475,000,000 
of francs. The principal bulk of the bonds bears 


(Who officiated at the marriage of King Milan and Queen Natalie in 1875, and who 
anointed King Alexander in 1889.) 


4 per cent. The annual charge on the Budget for 
the payment of coupons and amortisation of public 
debt amounts to 18,000,000 francs. 

Servia is rich in all sorts of minerals : coal is 
abundant, also iron, copper, silver-bearing lead, and 
antimony. Of late very successful searching for gold 
has been made, and this year an Anglo-Servian 
Company for the exploitation of gold has been 
formed in London. 

There are at present only 562 kilometres of railways 
in exploitation, but plans have been prepared for 
the construction of some 1,200 kilometres of branch 



To read the past history of Servia is like listening 
to the thunder of the old prophets amid the majesty 
of constant destruction. Again might the tumult of 
that strenuous constant warfare sound the trumpet- 
call of attention to the White City which has been 
cast in the seething midst of an everlasting and 
ruinous conflict. And yet, behold ! how fair a city, 
seen from the river! How imposing with its tall, 
white, slender minarets, its domed palaces, its gardens, 
and its cypresses ! How gracefully it slopes down to 
the river on the tongue of land between the Save 
and the Danube ! But the beauty which enchains 
the senses is the glitter of a whited sepulchre ; for 
deep behind lies the festering sore of its Turkish 
quarter, inhabited only by Orientals. Unhappy city, 
having one Emperor as suzerain and another 
Emperor as protector ! 

It was in 1355 that the mighty Dushan of Servia 



nquered Epirus, Thessaly, Bulgaria, and the greater 
part of Macedonia, and took upon himself the title 
of Emperor of the Greeks and Servians. He died 
suddenly on his march to Constantinople, and the 
great political system he had contemplated began to 
show symptoms of a quickly approaching decay. 

The end of the year 1801 saw Servia a prey to 
systematised vandalism. It was a reign of unexampled 
tyranny and cruelty. The bloodthirstiness of the 
Sultan's janisaries increased like the strength of a 
torrent. The Dahis, in disobedience to the Sultan's 
firmans, commissioned murderers to proceed through 
Servia and kill all the mayors of towns and villages, 
chiefs of cantons, priests, and monks. A wave of 
terror swept over the land, spreading panic in every 
direction. Mothers hugged their children to their 
breasts, and men in hushed whispers spoke of self- 
destruction as a less miserable fate than falling into 
the hands of the Turks. Every male over seven 
years of age was to be destroyed. But something 
in the Servians which had hitherto lain dormant, a 
spirit of manhood which had not been manifested 
before, arose under the whip of this gigantic 
thraldom ; seemingly the crushed and oppressed drew 
breath, the instinct of self-preservation kindled their 


hearts, and the embers burst out into a new fire 
of patriotism. 

Kara George — Black George, as he was called 
by the Turks — came down from his village of 
Topola in the Schumadia. He became the man 
of the hour. The magic of his name, and all the 
strange qualities of his fiery character, are dear to 
the heart of the Servian, who sees in this Kara 
George the first native of Servia who placed the 
laurels of a conqueror on his brow. His was a 
surly countenance ; in truth, writ large on it was 
resolution and intelligent energy, qualities of a man 
morose and taciturn, of gloomy and reserved de- 
meanour, but one who had learned military discipline 
as a volunteer in the Austrian service. He accepted 
the honourable and onerous post offered by his 
countrymen, and published the famous proclamation 
calling on the whole Servian nation to rise in arms. 
He declared that the Turks, who had failed to 
conquer him in spring and summer, would certainly 
not conquer him in a winter campaign. The Serbs, 
rising to the occasion, fought with heroism. After 
eight days' siege the Turks were driven off^ 

At this moment we first hear of Milan Obreno- 
vitch, the Voyvode, or General, of Rudneek, who was 

::^. '•;>.'■' , - c 

. :^: -^/f^.iA* 



entrusted with a mission to Vienna. For nine years 
Kara George had governed, a National Assembly had 
been formed, and the iron of the " Verhovni Vozd," 
** the Supreme Leader," had kept the Turks at bay. 

But in 18 1 3 the mighty fighter was shorn of 
his strength ; his own pre-eminence was exciting the 
envy of the great military chiefs, and Turkey seized 
the opportunity of proclaiming a holy war. The hero 
of a hundred fights made a strenuous appeal to his 
people, praying '' God to put courage into the hearts 
of Servians sons." But his appeal was in vain. He 
lost heart and fled into his own mountains. 

In the heat and fury of these disputes the White 
City stood alone, threatened by the spoiling hand of 
aliens. But the spirit of the Servian has been com- 
pared to the Scottish Highlander. If he delights 
in plaintive music and soft poetry, he also loves to 
romance on the glory of past battles where Kara 
George was the hero. The Servians looked round 
for a new champion, and found hope in Milosh 
Obrenovitch. In the darkest hour of his country he 
did not desert her. These two, Kara George and 
Milosh Obrenovitch, were respectively the peasant 
ancestors of Prince Peter Karageorgevitch, who has 



now been proclaimed King, and of the dead King 

Milosh accepted the call. Again the streets ran 
with blood. But the clear, strong mind of the 
Voyvode of Takovo was conceiving a new resur- 
rection for his country, and again Peace like a 
white dove spread her wings over Servia. It was 
secured to his country by the personal heroism of 
Milosh and the prudence of his policy. 

But the fiery soul of Kara George could not 
endure to see one of his subordinate Voyvodes to be 
the master of the country. The echo of the tragedy 
of blood and war has come down to us, and our 
ears yet tingle with the news of the murder of 
Alexander and Draga. Always the cypress was to 
bloom like an everlasting emblem of death over that 
fair city, and Kara George had determined to return. 
The Pasha of Belgrade sent for Milosh, and pointed 
out that peace would be disturbed. Milosh sent 
imploring messages to Kara George not to return. 
But Kara George refused to listen. He was deter- 
mined to regain his place in the hearts of his people 
and to sit upon the throne now held by his descendant. 

One may picture the scene in the dead of the 
night when the Mayor of Semendria Vouitza opened 


his doors and saw Black George standing before him. 
He dared not give him the shelter which was for- 
bidden by the Vizier. Milosh had written to him 
already, reproaching him with preparing a public 
welcome to Kara George. And so the latter passed 
to a treacherous death. This was the first great 
internal feud of the people ; at one time they united 
in shouting, '' Obrenovitch !" at another, ** Kara 
George ! " A tornado of feeling must have torn 
the mind of the mayor of Vouitza. But he was 
afraid for himself, and perhaps saw a menace to the 
country, which was at least wisely ruled by Milosh. 
Forgetting the old ties of friendship and the duties 
of a host, he murdered Kara George as he slept. 

O City of Death and Terror ! the curse which 
was uttered by that King, the father of Dushan, 
who was throttled to death, has been fulfilled, the 
thunder of the prophecy has echoed down to this 
day of June, 1903! No one knows whether Milosh 
was free from the dark imputation of having connived 
at this crime. So dreadful a truth is hidden ; but the 
blood of the chief leader of the first Servian Revolution 
was disloyally shed by a Serb on Servian ground. 
« « « « « 

It was during the reign of Milosh that we first 


hear of Queen Draga's great-grandfather, Lunyevitza. 
He was a rich merchant who successfully trafficked 
in pigs, which form an important produce of the 
country. Evil-tongued gossip, to defame the Queen, 
has spoken of him as a common swineherd, but there 
is no truth in the story. A man of great patriotism, 
Milosh called on him again and again for large sums 
of money to enable him to buy ammunition from 
Hungary. So highly did he think of his services 
that he bestowed on him the courtesy title of 
Voyvode, or General, and entered with him into the 
old covenant of blood brotherhood. The bond was 
considered sacred and indissoluble ; it constituted an 
offensive and defensive treaty to help each other 
throughout life. It is interesting to remember that 
it was entirely owing to this long-standing tie of 
friendship that Queen Draga made her pitiful claim 
for help to Queen Natalie. Little did the swine- 
merchant imagine that the pretty little dark-haired 
maiden, his grandchild, who ran about barefoot, 
would one day occupy the throne of the Queen. 

(From a painting in the possession of His Excellency the Servian Minister.) 


Short History of tfie Karageorgevitch and Obrenovitch 

1 804. " Kara George. George Petrovitch, called by the 
Servians 'Tzrni Gyorgye,' " and by the Turks Kara George, 
on account of his gloominess of character, shortness of 
speech, and readiness to kill. A peasant of Shumadiya 
(the Forest Land), born in the village of Vischevatz, 
settled in the village of Topola, both in the centre of 
Servia. Chosen by the people to be " Verhovni Vozd," 
Head Leader. The invasion of the Turks in 18 13 sent 
him into political exile in Kisheneff. 

181 3-14. Milosh Obrenovitch then became Leader. 

18 1 7. Kara George returned and was murdered. 

1830. Turkey permits title of Prince. Milosh becomes 
Prince Obrenovitch I. 

1839. Milosh abdicates in favour of Milan Obrenovitch H., 
who dies and is succeeded by Michael Obrenovitch HL, 
his brother. 

1842. Prince Michael abdicates. Alexander, son of Black 
George, elected Prince. Alexander compelled to resign 
in 1859. Prince Michael Obrenovitch HL reigns until 
his murder in June 1868. Succeeded by his great- 
nephew, Milan Obrenovitch IV. Milan abdicates, 1889, 
in favour of his son, King Alexander Obrenovitch V., 
murdered June loth, 1903. 

T903. Peter Karageorgevitch, son of Alexander Karageorge- 
vitch, succeeds. 



The return of peace was like a new dawn for the 

White City. She rose again resplendent in the light 

of peace. It seemed that prosperity and comparative 

order had at last returned. Milosh had cause to 

congratulate himself that the country was recuperating 

under his rule. The agriculture and commerce of 

Servia suddenly rose into importance. The export 

of cattle and swine increased. Servian acorns, the 

product of a particular species of oak, and of great 

value for the tanning and dyeing of leather, were 

exported in large quantities ; and as a natural result 

the finances showed marked signs of improvement. 

Good roads and bridges were constructed, schools 

were established in every town and village, and new 

churches were erected. But the freedom which 

Servia had acquired at the expense of so much 

sufifering could only be ensured by the possession 

of military as well as commercial resources. In 



order to limit her independence as much as possible, 
the Government of Turkey had stipulated that no 
military stores should be introduced into the country. 
But the discovery of saltpetre, and the possession 
of extensive forests abounding in material for char- 
coal, enabled Servia to manufacture supplies of gun- 
powder for herself. The people of Servia were 
trained in the use of weapons, the material for which 
was supplied by the iron-mines of the country. 
The importation of military stores was no longer 
necessary. A select number of officers was sent 
every year to be trained at Liege, and they returned 
equipped with the knowledge necessary for superin- 
tending all the processes of casting and polishing 
cannon-shot, of making shells, and fixing the fusees 
to the carcasses. 

Milosh himself was a shrewd man of business, 
and he determined to become truly the Father of his 
People. For a round sum he bought from the 
Turks the right of direct taxation, the proceeds 
of which now flowed into the national treasury. A 
further source of revenue was found in the customs 
which were levied on the Austrian frontier. In 
the year 1826 Prince Milosh instituted the ** Senate." 
His thoughts were centred on gaining internal 


autonomy for Servia ; but again and again he was 
prevented from securing this vital concession. For 
when asked to send a Commission to Constantinople, 
his deputies were arrested, owing to the fact that 
Russia had declared war against Turkey. The Porte 
flatly declined to treat. But the time had come 
when Servia was tired of being the pawn of the 
Powers. In 1829, Turkey, brought to submission 
by Russia, pledged herself to fulfil the demands 
of Servia. 

It is pleasant to pause and consider a picture 
no longer grimly coloured with scarlet. The natural 
gaiety of the Servian temperament was once more 
able to vent itself. When the firman was com- 
municated to the National Assembly, Milosh made 
a great speech. It is to him that the young King 
whose murder has horrified Europe owed his throne ; 
and it seems hard to believe that the people who 
called him the ''Father of the Fatherland" could 
permit in 1903 the assassination of the boy who 
had smiled in their midst as the little " Sasha." * 

The advent of autonomy was celebrated by a 
great y^/^. What a sight must have been the White 
City, all dark deeds forgotten, as Milosh appeared 
\"- *Pet name for Alexander. 



wearing on his breast the portrait of the Sultan in 

diamonds. His heart must have swelled with 

triumph in the knowledge that his country owed so 

much to him and that the name of the first Obreno- 

vitch would be associated with the foundation of a 

reigning dynasty. And then ensued a scene of 

national rejoicing. The women came out to dance 

in the sun, with roses in their hands, their heads 

covered with veils and gold and silver coins ; and 

the songs of the country were sung as only women 

can sing them. A great day for Servia ! A day 

of strange memories for the new generation which 

has witnessed that fatal nth of June, when another 

Obrenovitch panted out his life within hearing of his 


« « « « » 

The reign of progress and peace continued 
undisturbed, outwardly at least, until 1832. That year 
saw the zenith of the power of Milosh. But then 
again internal agitations began to disturb the unhappy 
country of Servia. The blood of Kara George cried 
out against the blood of Obrenovitch. The Army 
was divided between two parties, radicals and loyalists, 
and began to breed vipers of discord. The deep 
intrigues of politicians who outwardly professed 


allegiance to Prince Milosh were festering sores of 
personal greed and ambition. The famous framing 
of the Constitution occupied all the energies of 
Milosh. But the question arose how would Russia 
and Turkey accept these drastic measures ? Baron 
Rickmann, the newly appointed Russian agent in 
Bucharest, was a proud and arrogant man, and around 
him the party hostile to Milosh began to gather. Two 
bitter enemies of Milosh, Simitch and Protitch, took 
every opportunity to foully misrepresent him to 
Turkey. Hence it came about that the Porte and 
Russia combined to limit the power of the Prince. 
The nation was beginning to murmur, just as it was 
taught to murmur against young King Alexander, 
that its liberties were being stolen and that Prince 
Milosh had become an autocrat. At this moment 
it happened that the English Government appointed 
as its agent a certain Colonel George Hodges, a 
man of a handsome appearance, an attractive person- 
ality, and a persuasive manner. He advised Prince 
Milosh to get the control of the National Assembly 
into his own hands, and to see that the members 
were chosen by himself. Here history again repeats 
itself. Alexander also desired this power ; but because 
Draga inspired him the people murmured. The end. 

nowever, was not to be averted. After twenty years 
of rule, after having snatched Servia at the point of 
the sword from the rapacity of her foes, after standing 
alone after the flight of Black George, Milosh could 
not submit to be ruled by the upstarts whom he had 
helped to raise. In June, 1839, a month fatal in 
the history of Belgrade, the old Prince was forced 
to abdicate in favour of his second son, Prince 

No longer the sound of the grand war songs, or 
the vision of women in bright raiment with roses in 
their hands, or the acclamation of an adoring multi- 
tude ! The scene had changed. There was silence 
in the discontented crowds as the white-haired old 
chief departed like a King from the people he had 
served so well. There was a rush to the side of 
the river as he made his way more with the air of 
a conqueror than as a deposed Prince. There was 
the same fine old spirit of the Obrenovitch which has 
been forgotten by the present nation, the same spirit 
of defiance and courage which made young King 
Alexander kiss Draga in the face of his enemies, 

* As a matter of form the eldest son, Milan, was elected. But 
he was in a dying condition, so it is doubtful if he was even aware 
that he was made Head of the State for the space of about two weeks. 


and which did not heed the resentment of monarchies. 
It is]^that spirit which will outlive time and the insults 
of the conspirators who would have all nations forget 
an^Obrenovitch and all that he had done. 




The peasantry in the fields, the men of the mountains, 
and the people in the towns thought constantly now 
of Milosh Obrenovitch in his exile. The abrogation 
of the National Assembly was another cause con- 
tributing to the discontent. In dread of their own 
despot Milosh, as he was now called, and yet hurried 
like sheep to the slaughter, they were terrorised and 
cajoled by the new Constitution ! The Russian 
agent and the Pasha of Belgrade figuratively touched 
glasses together while they praised and flattered the 
rebels. All the Obrenovitch party were banished 
and dismissed. Russia having worked zealously for 
her own ends, invited the widow of Kara George 
to come over to Servia, accompanied by her son. 
Never in the whole course of European history has 
a battle of jealousy been so fanned and fostered 
and made use of by other Powers. Later on, ' up 
to the present moment, in July, 1903, we shall see 



the subtle and intricate mind of Russia controlling 

The uneducated, happy-go-lucky peasantry cared 
for little else so long as the taxes were moderate 
and their land was not taken from them. If, as 
they had been taught to believe, Milosh had tried to 
rule despotically, nevertheless some chose to re- 
member him as the " Father," while others drank 
their wine to the toast of Kara George, forgetting 
how Kara George had deserted them in former years. 
Restless and unstable, stricken by constant fears, 
Servia began to feel the yoke of Russia already 
galling the neck. But it was too late. Austria, 
England, and France began to regret that they had 
stood aloof. A growing admiration and respect was 
manifest in the political world for a people whose 
virtues had not been destroyed by four centuries 
of oppression, and for whom a splendid future still 
seemed possible. It is a strange drama that stands 
revealed. Sometimes the setting of the scene presents 
a harmony of colour, where all the happiest and most 
joyous traits are developed, and a little Garden of 
Eden appears for a moment among the nations. 
There may be found the fruitful blossoms of the 
pear and the cherry and the vine, hedges bright 



with honeysuckle and clematis, natural streams and 
rivers, and mineral wealth hidden in the mountains. 
But the scene is marred by the serpent of political 
intrigue. The storms of violence, failure, and final 
doom rush over the sky in clouds of gloom. Can 
you not picture how the exile loved his country, 
how his strong old heart beat in anguish when he 
knew that the peasants were becoming accustomed 
to the change in dynasty, that the name of Obrenovitch 
was being covered with undeserved contempt, whilst 
that of the first Kara George, and the son he had 
left behind him, was extolled ? 

The uplifting of the political curtain fascinates 
the onlooker, who holds his breath as he images 
the stealthy swift march of the Porte, which was 
already creating a strong Turkish party. One can 
picture the wife of Prince Milosh on her knees 
entreating him importunately to put forth the claims 
of her surviving son, Prince Michael. The Prince, 
indeed, was very young ; but he had gallant inten- 
tions and was endowed with a strong character. 
He set out for his country ; and at a critical moment 
the widow of Kara George died. The generous 
and noble young Prince ordered her funeral to be 
celebrated with the greatest pomp, the Princess 


Lyubitza, his mother, actually accompanying the 
coffin. But even in that hour the secret enemies 
of the young Obrenovitch took care to whisper 
to the people there was yet a Karageorgevitch to 
reign, if there was no Prince Michael. 

It would be tedious to relate in detail all the 
events of Prince Michael's short reign — the appoint- 
ment of Alexander Karageorgevitch, his deposition, 
the great return of Milosh to gather up the reins 
in his old age, the crowds that followed him, to 
find him, with his self-reliance and resolution, as 
strong as ever, and finally his death in i860, 
leaving Prince Michael for the second time the 
reigning Prince. 

Only eight years later and again the ominous 
appearance of June on the land — the month which 
always seems to have been associated with the con- 
clusion of each act in the drama. Prince Michael 
Obrenovitch had married Princess Julia, the favourite 
maid-of-honour to the Empress of Austria. This 
lady was the daughter of Count Hunyadyt, a descend- 
ant of the famous Hungarian King Mathaeas, an 
intimate friend of the Emperor. Unfortunately she 
was childless, and this fact was the beginning of the 
trouble which ended in the Karageorgevitch plot to 


(From a painting in the possession of His Excellency the Servian Minister.) 


murder Prince Michael. Princess Julia, by her 
winning ways and strength of character, had ably 
seconded the policy of her husband both in Austria 
and during her former residence in England. Now 
in silent grief she herself saw the importance of 
providing for the succession to the throne. The 
only heir in prospect was Milan, son of Milosh 
Obrenovitch, who was the son of Prince Milosh's 
brother Ephrem.* Prince Michael had overcome 
the prejudices of the Servians by introducing many 
new reforms. Unselfish and patriotic as he was, he 
carried his life like water in the palm of his hand ; 
he was dogged by spies and hired ruffians employed 
to murder him. The shadow crept up like a cloud 
on the horizon. But one day of splendour still 
remained for the Prince. The nation celebrated 
with enthusiasm the fifty years Jubilee of the day 
when Milosh successfully led the rising against the 
Turks. But the figure of Karageorgevitch loomed 
in the background ; the rival of Obrenovitch had 
never given up the hope of recovering the throne. 

The day of June loth, 1868, saw the White 
City looking her best, the gaily dressed populace 
passing to and fro, for apparently there was nothing 
* This Milan became the father of King Alexander. 



to disturb the peace of the country. But away in 
the mountains a strange thing came to pass.^ Mata 
of Cremna, a man feared and respected for his strange 
powers of prophecy, rose up like one of the prophets 
of old, and rushed down the mountain-sides beating 
his breasts and crying, " Our Prince is dead ! They 
have murdered our Prince ! " 

The cry of the peasant of Cremna rang through 
the countryside and was taken up and repeated 
from mouth to mouth in the city. Some thought it 
was the wail of a madman ; and the soldiers seized 
the would-be prophet and threw him into prison, 
there to await examination. But when it was heard 
that the Prince had actually at that moment fallen 
under the treacherous blow of assassins, the whole 
nation was convulsed with horror. Prince Michael 
had received many letters warning him of his 
danger ; notorious leaders of the Karageorgevitch 
party had been seen holding meetings with the 
enemies of the Prince. The old blood feud was 
stirred, and dark hints were circulated to the effect 
that Milosh Obrenovitch had originally caused the 
murder of Black George. The intrigue of a few 

* This story is a fact, and the prophecies are preserved in 
the Minutes of the National Assembly. 


politicians grew into a general clamour against the 
Cabinet. But the adherents of Kara George realised 
that an insurrection was impossible, for Prince 
Michael (however unpopular his Ministers) had done 
so much for the cause of independence that he had 
become dear to the hearts of his people. The 
assassination of the Prince was the only sure way 
of confounding the loyalists. 

In the consummation of the tragedy there was 
one startling coincidence about which much has been 
written and insinuated. Madame Anka Constantino- 
vitch, mother of Katrine and cousin of the Prince, 
shared his cruel fate. The want of a direct heir 
was supposed to be a cause of great grief to Prince 
Michael and his wife Julia. It was no secret that 
the Prince, fearing the Obrenovitch Dynasty would 
come to an end through failure of issue, was con- 
templating the divorce of his wife Julia, and that 
Katrine, daughter of Madame Anka, had been 
mentioned as her probable successor. In the 
vaults of the church, where the coffins of King 
Alexander and Queen Draga have lately been 
placed, may still be found the remains of this ** Anka, 
daughter of Ephrem Obrenovitch," murdered on 
June 10th, 1868. t 


I feel I cannot do better than transcribe the 
account of the tragedy as given in the graphic words 
of Madame Elodie Mijatovich. 

*' Within a half-hour's drive of Belgrade there is 
a park belonging to the nation called Topchidere. 
Here is the summer residence of the Prince and 
also the State Prison. Topchidere lies between low 
hills and is watered by the small river from which 
it derives its name. The surrounding heights are 
covered with a thick growth of oak and lime trees, 
a large space enclosed as a deer park. Prince 
Michael had caused a narrow path to be cut through 
these woods, and the dark shadowy walk became 
his most favoured summer resort. On most summer 
afternoons he walked there with members of his 
family, attended only by one adjutant and a footman. 
This custom of the Prince was' well known to the 
conspirators, chief of whom was a certain Paul Rado- 
wanovitch, the attorney of Alexander Karageorge- 
vitch. His younger brother had been condemned 
for forgery. Svetozar Nenadovitch, a cousin of the 
wife of the ex-Prince, was director of the prison 
and park of Topchidere, and thus, tempted by the 
promised reward of a large estate, was of great use 
in forwarding the execution of the plot. Three ot 



the boldest conspirators were to meet the Prince 
suddenly, and, when the deed was done, were to 
notify their success by pre-arranged signals to Paul 
Radowanovitch, who would have a carriage waiting 
and hurry to Belgrade with the news. Some of his 
associates were to wait for him, and on his coming 
hasten to put to death the more resolute Ministers, 
and take the Government into their own hands. A 
list of the persons who were to replace the higher 
State officials had actually been drawn up, and with 
it the project of a new Constitution, to be pro- 
claimed in the name of Peter Karageorgevitch* 
In the afternoon of this loth of June Prince 
Michael drove out as usual to take his favourite 
promenade in the deer park. With him were his 
old aunt, Madame Tomaniya, and her daughter and 
granddaughter, the beautiful Madame Anka and 
Mademoiselle Katrine Constantinovitch. When they 
were already far advanced on the narrow wood 
path, they were abruptly met by four men — Rado- 
wanovitch, who had been convicted of forgery ; 
Maries, who had killed his wife ; a desperate fellow 
named Rogics, who had formerly been in the State 
service ; and a third brother of Radowanovitch, a 
* Who has now ascended the throne as Peter L 


man of notorious ferocity. These men moved aside 
with apparent deference as the Prince advanced, 
and when he had passed fired simultaneously. Prince 
Michael fell forward and died almost instantly ; 
Madame Anka was mortally wounded, and died 
about two hours later, still insensible. When the 
deed was done, and the preconcerted signal had 
been given, Paul Radowanovitch hastened to carry 
the news to the city. In order to be quite sure of 
the Prince's death, and maddened, as such ferocious 
beasts are said to be, with the sight of blood, the 
assassins had lost the aid of minutes invaluable to 
the successful completion of their scheme by the 
manner in which they cut and slashed the dead 
bodies.* Forty-five knife wounds were counted on 
the corpse of the Prince. Subsequently the carriage 
of Paul Radowanovitch broke down on the way 
to the city, and the news of the deed reached 
Belgrade before him. When he arrived he found 
the whole city in horrified and indignant excitement, 
and the garrison under arms." 

The War Minister, M. Petrovitch Blaznavatz, 

* According to M. C. De Prevignand's account of the assassina- 
tion of King Alexander and Queen Draga, the same bloodthirsty 
spirit was revealed in the later tragedy. 


became master of the situation. He had been an 
intimate friend of Prince Michael, his confidant and 
counsellor. It was due to his prompt resolution that 
the reins of government were not snatched by hands 
red with the blood of an innocent Prince. Meanwhile 
the populace of Belgrade remembered the prophecy 
of the peasant, the record of which has been pre- 
served up to the present time. A close examination 
proved beyond doubt that he had had no previous 
knowledge or warning of the conspiracy. Predic- 
tions and romantic lore have ever held a strange 
place in the history of Servia, with its superstitious 
belief in old folk tales and legends. The peasants 
and gypsies are held in repute, owing to the gallant 
service which they performed during the wars. 
Servian children learn from the lips of their nurses 
the legendary stories of the people of the mountains, 
and these are transmitted from generation to genera- 
tion. The peasant of Cremna, on coming before the 
courts, uttered many other predictions, which have 
been preserved in Belgrade, though not popularly 

It was during the first dissolution of the Assembly 
in 1875, for which His Excellency the Servian 
Minister was personally responsible, that he was 


accosted by a brother deputy with the following 
words : 

'* Ah, Chedo ! these prophecies come true even 
to the events which have occurred to-day ! " 

The Minister, astonished, inquired of his friend 
what he meant. 

*' Do you not know that before the hour of Prince 
Michael's assassination the prophecy was brought 
from the mountains, and it is believed to have had 
the power of saving the political situation ? " 

The Minister, impressed with the conversation, 
replied that that very night, when he would be dining 
with the Prince, he would bring the matter before his 

When he questioned the Prince concerning the 
predictions, His Highness replied that he had no 
knowledge of the matter, but eventually it was found 
that a record had been entered in the Minutes of the 
State. It is a strange but incontestable fact that one 
by one these predictions are being fulfilled, and the 
incident finds a parallel in the warning sent by the 
present Minister to King Alexander in March, 1903, 
a full account of which will be found in the Appendix. 

The murder of Prince Michael was received 
with grief and lamentation by the people. He was 

(Mother of King Alexander.) 



remembered as their gallant and handsome Prince, 
the poet whose songs of love and war they had 
sung, a man of honour and open-handed generosity. 
During his life his quiet and somewhat stern 
demeanour had prevented much enthusiasm, but the 
real devotion of the nation was manifested when 
he was interred in the Cathedral at Belgrade. Long 
before, when the Prince had been urged to return 
and banish Alexander Karageorgevitch, and enter 
into a plot repugnant to his nature, he had uttered 
the memorable words — ''I will never come through 
blood to the Throne y 

His motto was, " Tempus et meum Jus!' Time 
brought it about that he was sincerely and passion- 
ately mourned by his people, but Right was over- 
thrown by the wrong of a murderous plot and a 
culpable ambition. Had Prince Michael lived, the 
harvest already sown would have been reaped. But 
the fruit was never to ripen. Once again the 
Servians were convulsed by internal strife ; and the 
dark angel of retribution yet waits with folded wings. 
The bitter potion of remorse will be drunk to the 
dregs. On the tomb of Prince Michael iObrenovitch 
his widow has inscribed the lines, '' Tvoya missao 
poginuti netye ! " " Thy thought will not perish ! " 



What does the world at large really know about 
the Prince Milan Obrenovitch who now ascended 
the throne ? The venom of political intrigue has 
poisoned his name, so that at one time it was no 
uncommon thing for people in England and abroad 
to speak of the " infamous King Milan." The 
superfine threads of Russian and Turkish politics 
drew their meshes round the world, the most part 
of which reads with avidity the history of Court 
scandals. People wilfully blinded their eyes to t 
inner truths of a story which throughout should rou 
the deep pity of humanity at the colossal wreckage 
surrounding the throne of Servia. 

Prince Michael had left behind him elements of 
an excellent Government. He had been wont to give 
without arrogance, to receive with dignity. The 



Government made no attempt to shield the con- 
spirators, who were at once seized and imprisoned. 
An Assembly met to express the sorrow of the 
nation and sentiments of loyalty and sympathy for 
the young Milan Obrenovitch. The latter now 
gained that which the old peasant ruler Milosh had 
long cherished as a dream to guard against future 
catastrophe — a law was passed securing the hereditary 
dignity of Prince of Servia to the male descend- 
ants of the family of the Obrenovitch. In the 
case of failure of male heirs in the direct line, 
the succession was to pass to the male descend- 
ants of the daughter of Prince Milosh. In a 
significant clause the Assembly decreed that Kara- 
georgevitch and his descendants should be excluded 
for ever. 

As the young Prince Milan was only fourteen 
years of age, three Regents were appointed to conduct 
the Government. They had an arduous task to 
prevent a disturbance of the public peace, and, as 
affairs then stood, it was no easy matter to unite the 
Conservatives and Radicals. 

On August loth, 1872, the young Prince attained 
his majority. The Regents gave up their responsible 
and difficult charge with the conviction that the 


country had not deteriorated under their rule. The 
young Prince had been educated in Paris, in the 
house of the well-known philosopher and democrat, 
Monsieur Huet ; and later in Belgrade he had 
been taken in hand by a Ragusan nobleman and 
poet, Count Medo de Pozzo. He began his rule 
with the magnificent possibilities of a nature calcu- 
lated to make a brilliant soldier, a subtle s-tatesman, 
and a man lovable for his personal qualities. 
Moreover, he was possessed of a latent power of 
character which was yet to be revealed. The 
sneers and the pity which accompanied his later 
.sins and his follies had not yet touched him, and 
the stream of life looked clear as crystal to his 
enthusiastic gaze. He did not look at the thunder- 
ing cataract which lay behind, and might threaten 
to overwhelm him at any moment. Secure as he 
seemed in the love of his people, adored by his 
soldiers, he had not realised that he held his throne 
under the crushing supervision of Russian ambition. 
This young man of culture and reckless bravery 
stood prepared to fight the barbaric savage element 
which was ultimately to be his ruin. 

It was in the spring of 1875 that the beautiful 
Natalie, daughter of a Moldavian noble and a 




(Who pronounced the Divorce between Queen Natalie and King Milan.) 


^TCing Milan. 

She met him in Vienna, and the influence of his 
mother, Hdene Catargi, and his own inclinations 
united to bring about his marriage. Even then, at the 
age of sixteen, she was described as having a perfectly 
developed figure, exquisite neck and arms, with 
lustrous brown eyes, luxuriant hair, and gleaming 
white teeth. But her smile, some said, betrayed her 
inner nature. She was a woman who never for- 
gave. Pride and cruelty were integral parts of her 
character. Her temper embroiled the Court in 
perpetual domestic discord. At all times, Natalie 
the wife, Natalie divorced, Natalie the widow, was 
the talk of the town. Our sympathy is not for 
this young woman in the zenith of her beauty, 
jealous and tactless, and far from being a moral 
help to her husband ; but for Natalie, the mother 
of the " Sasha," the only bond between King and 
Queen. For Milan dearly loved his little 
" Alexander." There must be hours now full of 
touching remembrance to this lovely Queen, sitting 
in her chateau, and gazing at the pictures of her 
bright-eyed, high-spirited boy, who lies in his tomb 
at Belo^rade ; terrible visions, which must awaken the 


grief and fears of her heart ; for little did she realise 
that Russian policy had deliberately fanned the 
discord between her and the King whenever he 
inclined towards friendship with Austria. 

*' Surely," said a great lady to her once when, 
in tigerish fury, she confessed that she knew the 
King had betrayed her — " surely there is a time 
in every married woman's life when she must learn 
to forgive ! " 

There was much excuse for the King, who saw 
everywhere around him the Oriental ideas of mar- i 
riage — there was much excuse. He had married a 
girl of sixteen — a girl dazzled, perhaps, with the 
thought of a throne, who did not realise that her 
motto ought to be, *' Union is strength." The greatest 
passions are common to all, and the scenes in the 
Palace could not be concealed from a world which 
fastened on the ugly cancer of a King's immorality. 
The papers teemed with insulting comments ; the 
disaffected represented the Queen as a martyr ; and 
Russia looked and laughed when a Minister's wife 
had fascinated the susceptible heart of the King. 
At all costs his polygamous desires should be made 
the weapon for his own destruction. The savage 
elements in his blood urged him on till his passions 



became ungovernable. But though marked by the 
fierce love of power and reckless ambition, he still 
possessed his earlier characteristics of valour and 
devotion. Milan is described by Emile De Laveleye, 
who knew him in Paris, as ** a superb cavalier, very 
tall and strong." Think what it must have been 
to the young Queen to discover in him a gambler 
and a roud. Wild with passion, tormented with 
jealousy, she filled the air with her outcry, until he 
swore he would divorce her on the ground of 
incompatibility of temperament. The Archbishop 
Michael, much to his credit, refused to uphold the 
King. The Queen urged on her husband the im- 
portance of being supported by Russia. It was their 
political and private disputes which created such a 
tornado of ill-feeling. And yet what a couple they 
made — she with her superb presence, her warm, 
dazzling complexion, and large velvet Wallachian 
eyes, and he with his virile personality and hand- 
some air! A strain of intense pathos runs through 
this story of the father and mother. A Belgrade 
diplomatist describes the little '' Sasha" bounding 
into the room at the Palace before dinner, full of 
life, beaming with fun, his brown eyes sparkling 
with his mother's beauty and his father's intelligence. 


Both parents saw in him the fulfilment of their hopes 
and the realisation of a great destiny^ They indulged 
in golden dreams for his future — now he was to 
become Emperor of Constantinople, and now he was 
to place on his head an ancient crown and become 
the founder of a new Empire. Little did they 
think that the object of their illusions would be a 
murdered King ! 

It is more pleasant to dwell on an amusing 
picture — that of King Milan addressing his people 
at the Assembly, with one of his Ministers at his 
side, and a little figure creeping in and whispering, 
** Tell Papa he talks too much. I want him!" 

But the King's greatest fault was his fondness 
for the company of women. There was one in 
particular, Artemisa Cristitch, daughter of a Greek, 
who was architect to the Sultan, and whose illegitimate 
son is now, they say, being brought up in Constantin- 
ople. All the passionate expostulations and tears of 
Natalie could not prevent Milan from continuing this 
ignoble intrigue. Never was man more cursed with 
a dual nature. Here was a fine soldier and an 
indulgent father who at the same time neglected 
all the domestic ties commonly held sacred. 

Now at this time Prince Nicholas of Montenegro, 





a born leader of men and popular with the nation, 
was aspiring to the throne. Russia was urging the 
Prince of Servia to declare war against Turkey, until 
at length he reluctantly complied. Although he 
suffered reverses in the war which ensued, he was 
still urged forward by Russia, who cajoled him with 
numberless promises. Milan made every effort to 
arouse enthusiasm. ** The defence of the holy cause 
passed into stronger hands," he said. He invoked 
the names of the old heroes of Kossova."*^ But 
after he had been induced to quarrel with the Porte, 
he was betrayed by Russia, who dictated terms and 
calmly gave away Old Servia to Bulgaria. This was 
the way in which the magnificent promises of Russia 
were kept! Milan was furious to discover that he 
had been used as a cat's-paw ; and when, in spite of 
Natalie's entreaties, he threw himself into the arms 
of the Austrian Government, his ruin was assured. 
His intrigue with Artemisa Cristitch was magnified 
by his enemies ; his name was exposed to universal 
ridicule ; and Natalie, whose whole sympathy was 
with Russia, was so infuriated by his infidelity, that 
she rejoiced to see a flood of abuse sweep over the 

* A translation of one of these Kossova war poems by Madame 
Elodie Mijatovich will be found on pp. 1 12-15. 



throne. In that moment she forgot the interests of 
her little son, whose future would also be ruined by 
the desertion of Russia. 

In the midst of this cauldron of intrigue and 
misery there are one or two bright incidents which 
relieve the picture. ** Sasha " was loved by the 
people. He knew nothing of the dissensions between 
his father and mother, he had a bright, happy-go- 
lucky character, and he was happy in his innocence. 
There are two stories worth quoting which present 
him as a little boy full of glee, dancing about on the 
boat which descended the river on the occasion of 
the official progress of the King and Queen to the 
Shabatz. While one of the Ministers was holding 
him in two arms so that he should not fall, he 
mischievously drew off one of the Minister's gloves 
and threw it in the water. Natalie scolded him 
when she noticed that he was again stealthily draw- 
ing off the second glove. Full of fun, he laughed 
and said, *' One is useless ! let both go, mamma." 
Shortly afterwards another steamer met the boat, 
and as it came alongside there were many cheery 
and shouts of greeting. tB 

'* Why do these people make so much noise when 
they see me ? " cried little Alexander. 



•* Because they love you, my little son." 

Immediately he almost sprang out of the Minister's 
arms, calling out, " They say you love me : show 
me your love by throwing all your hats into the 

The hats were thrown ! 

It was only a few years afterwards that he was 
miserably hacked to death in the Palace ; and then 
there were none to express regret. 

Before Alexander was twelve years of age a 
violent rupture took place between Milan and Natalie. 
Archbishop Michael had been sent away and 
Theodosius held his office. It was he who pro- 
nounced the divorce between the King and Queen. 
It was Innocensius who married Draga Maschine 
and King Alexander, and afterwards it was he 
who blessed the murderers in the Cathedral, and 
welcomed King Karageorgevitch. 

After the divorce had been pronounced, Natalie 
was ordered to leave the country. But although 
, her son was virtually separated from her, she refused 
to go. Already the personality of Milan had lost 
its former power of fascination. The Queen openly 
gave vent to* her hatred, for he had committed 
an action which she could never forgive. But in 


spite of this, the plots of the Pretender Karageorge- 
vitch so alarmed them both that a reconciliation 
was effected in order to save the throne for their 
son, and Archbishop Michael was called upon to 
cancel the divorce. 

But once again the hydra of Republicanism raised 
its heads. Progressives and Radicals supported the 
cause of Karageorgevitch, while Milan found no 
favour with the Powers. Scandal after scandal 
about his private conduct found its way into the 
newspapers. Those who knew him intimately felt 
that he was tired out and disheartened by constant 
domestic strife and the peril of his position. Finally, 
it was pointed out to him that the only chance of 
saving the throne for the little **Sasha" lay in his 
own abdication ; and accordingly, on the night of 
March 6th, 1889, the King had a farewell 
audience of his personal friends and his Ministers. 
There was no hope in his heart save that for the 
future success of his little *' Sasha.'' 

After the formal abdication, Milan left the 
country, and Regents were appointed to act during 
the minority of the young Alexander. The parting 
between father and son revealed the crowning act 
of unselfishness in the life of the former. And y 



(Brother-in-law to Queen Draga.) 


later on, when ''Sasha" was under the dominating 
influence of Draga Maschine, he ordered his father 
to be shot if he stepped over the frontier. When 
the news reached King Milan it broke his heart. 
It was hard for him to believe that the boy 
whom he had loved could become a despot and 
even a parricide. Shortly after Milan died at 
Vienna in comparatively poor circumstances. And 
then for a moment the action in the drama of 
Servian history moved less quickly. The fierce 
violence of its feuds was now to be mingled with 
the intrigues of a woman, Draga Maschine, who 
was soon to occupy a prominent place on the stage 
of the Servian Throne. 



After the abdication of Milan, Queen Natalie was 
completely separated from her son. The chateau 
she had bought at Biarritz became her home, and 
there she dragged out a solitary and bitter existence. 
Her pride had been wounded to the quick ; she 
felt herself insulted and outraged. Instead of the 
life she had once dreamt of living with King Milan, 
she had experienced nothing but passionate quarrels 
and enmities. Many were the letters she wrote to 
her gentle and studious son. Even at the age of 
thirteen he had shown signs of firmness and self- 
reliance. His education had been carried on by 
private tutors in the Palace of Belgrade, and 
General Mishkovitch had been appointed as his 
governor. But the quarrels between his father and 
mother had poisoned the most impressionable years 
of his life. Before he was fourteen he was left to 

himself, and to the entourage of officers and other 



companions, who were not the most desirable models 
for a young Prince. Even in those days there was 
a young woman living unpretentiously in Belgrade 
of whose existence he then knew nothing. This 
was none other than Draga Maschine, wife of a clever 
engineer who was first clerk in a Government 
office, and afterwards Secretary to the Mining De- 
partment of the Ministry of Finances. This young 
engineer, a brother of Colonel Maschine, was a man 
of considerable ability, possessed of a keen deter- 
mination to rise in his profession. To him Draga 
was married before she was seventeen. Even then 
she had the reputation of being something more 
than a flirt, though this was perhaps due to the 
boasts of swaggering lovers who invented calumnies 
about a lady who rose rapidly to social eminence. 
But there is no material for judging about this 
early period of her life. It is sufficient to say 
that the first imputation on her character arose from 
the suicide of her husband a year after their 
marriage. Colonel Maschine, who was always her 
enemy and had been devoted to his brother, swore 
he would be avenged on her for conduct which he 
said had broken his brother's heart. Certain it is 
that there was an inner tragedy in the life of this 


young woman ; she had the alluring charm which 
has belonged to a few women who have held in 
their hands the destiny of nations. Her eyes, we 
are told, were the "eyes of night"; her hair was 
raven black, soft as silk, and rippling in profusion. 
She had clear ivory skin, a small mouth, and a jaw 
which indicated her decision of character. It was 
her fixed ambition to rise from the poverty into 
which she was plunged. The Maschines left her 
to herself. Those few years were full of that 
terrible struggle under temptation which is swiftly 
offered to a young and beautiful woman who suffers 
under poverty. 

Perhaps she had all the yearnings for a higher 
life denied to her in the loose set in which she 
lived. At any rate her worst enemy must admit 
that she was faithful to the King from the moment 
of their first illicit union. She had no mind to sink 
into the gutter ; and one can see her subtle brain 
revolving schemes for the improvement of her 
circumstances. She remembered that she was the 
descendant of Lunyevitza, the merchant who dealt 
in swine and filled the coppers of Milosh. Nor did 
she forget that the fiery old prince had taken 
Lunyevitza into the bond of blood brotherhood. 

(Queen Draga's second brother.) 


Though he had been necessary to Servia, she was 
left to starve. Using her power of fascination, she 
sought an interview with one of the Ministers, who 
suggested that she should become a governess. 

" A governess — I ! " exclaimed Draga. " Why, 
I know nothing to teach." And so she waited, 
knowing that her only equipment was her deter- 
mination, her ambition, and her beauty. The 
Minister suggested he would lay the case before the 
Queen, with a view to securing her a small pension ; 
and one may picture her elation when she was 
informed that Queen Natalie would help her and 
take her into her service as one of her ladies-in- 
waiting. This is one of the most pathetic incidents 
of the whole story — the heart of the Queen going 
out to help a woman who threw herself on her 

Draga now moved in the atmosphere of a Court, 
although it was only the little Court of a broken- 
hearted woman separated from her son. She left 
Belgrade, delighted to enter a life where she could 
have all the courtesies and graces of manner befitting 
a lady-in-waiting. And besides, who might she not 
meet as lady-in-waiting to Natalie ? The scandals 
and contempt which had grown up round her name 


she left behind in Belgrade ; there, too, she left the 
legacy of Colonel Maschine's hatred and suspicion 
When she returned to Belgrade, a few years later, 
she was already approaching the throne. For that 
she was prepared to fight by dint of intrigue and 
sacrifice such as would not be credited in fiction. 
A story of a prophecy given at this time is worth 
relating. It is vouched for on the very highest 
authority. In 1897, ^^^ Y^^^ after the first meeting 
between Draga and King Alexander, Queen Natalie 
in a playful mood suggested to Madame Draga and 
to Mademoiselle Tzanka that they should accompany 
her to visit a certain Madame De Thebes, a lady who 
had a reputation as a clairvoyante and palmiste in 
Paris. Queen Natalie asked this Madame De Thebes 
to read what the future had in store for her son 
and for those around herself. 

'* Madame," replied the lady, *' you nourish in 
your bosom a viper which will turn and sting 
you. Can you guess what I mean ? " 

She went on to say that the whole destiny of 
Servia rested on the young King's marriage. The 
Queen nodded assent, knowing that Russia desired 
his alliance with the beautiful Princess who is now 
sister-in-law to the Queen of Italy. Next, 



Mademoiselle Tzanka was informed that she would 
be loved, but would never marry. 

'' And I ! what is there for me ?" cried Madame 

Slowly and impressively Madame De Thebes 
uttered these remarkable words: "You, Madame, 
will rise to a higher position than you have even 
imagined. One day you will even reign a Queen ; 
but when that day dawns your life will be in danger, 
and you will drag your lover and your husband to 
his ruin and his death ! " 

This incident occurred in 1897, and in the 
following year Madame Draga met the young King. 
Three years later Mademoiselle Tzanka was 
threatened with severe punishment for having re- 
peated the story, which found its way into many of 
the papers. Queen Draga was furious ; it was in vain 
that the story was vigorously denied ; it was fastened 
upon and exaggerated by the superstition of the 
people. The seed which was to bear such terrible 
fruit seemed to have been sown by a few thoughtless 
words spoken by Mademoiselle Tzanka. Later, 
when the shadows of the coming storm lengthened, 
when she suffered the reproaches of Natalie and the 
hatred and scorn of her people, Queen Draga 


remembered the warning of ruin and degradation. 
But we have first the opening page of a love- 
story, the passion of a young man who laid his 
crown at her feet, who forgot the political alliance 
proposed by Russia and the welfare of his people 
for the sake of the eyes of Draga Maschine, for 
the wooing tones of a woman who carried death 
in her whisper of love. 


(Aide-de-camp to King Alexander, who confronted the officers 
with revolver and drawn sword, and was fatally shot.) 



Draga Maschine had now become the cynosure of 
all eyes ; her personality eclipsed even that of her 
royal mistress, as she moved from place to place in 
attendance upon the Queen. It was a strange irony 
that Queen Natalie should thus be providing for 
her education and outward refinement. At every 
step in her advancement she seemed to become 
more graceful, picturesque, and imposing. Her 
character will loom large in history. Amid the stately 
panoply of Court life, she was the central figure, 
sordid yet tremendous in her aims, possessed of that 
strange quality in her, as a woman, which led 
Napoleon, as a man, to the consummation of a 
traofic scene in the drama of his life. Even the 
place where she met the King has about it the 
memory of that romance which appears in the love- 
story of Mademoiselle Montijo, afterwards Empress 
Eugenie. It was in Biarritz, a city dancing in 


the sunshine of success, mocking at the intrigues 
of its laughter-loving, luxurious citizens, that the 
Empress Eugenie spent her happiest hours. It 
was here, too, that Queen Victoria spent the winter 
in 1889. And here Natalie built a handsome chateau 
designed like an Italian palace. Within the chateau 
Queen Natalie waited with joy in her heart to 
welcome her son, who was coming to pay a long- 
delayed visit. Smouldering fires of gossip and 
jealousy already threatened to burst into flame 
around the name of Draga Maschine. Some smiled 
to think of the adventuress becoming a decorous 
lady-in-waiting ; but no one had yet dared to whisper 
the danger of her proximity to the King. When 
at last he came, young, ardent, and fired with many 
brave resolves, Queen Natalie laid before him her 
plan for an alliance with his second cousin, now 
Princess Lily Mirko of Montenegro. This lady, 
who was born a Constantinovitch, and is a member 
of the Obrenovitch family, is one of the most beautiful 
women in Europe. 

Had King Alexander accepted this lady and 
offered her his kingdom he would never have suffered 
the fate which overtook him. Perhaps the fact of 
relationship destroyed the charm of novelty. At any 


rate, on that memorable visit to Biarritz it was to 
the charms of Draga Maschine that Alexander 
succumbed. To win his heart was her first step, and 
she was not over-scrupulous in the means she employed. 
She was older and more subtle in this game of love 
and adventure than he. But in time she also came 
to love him for his loyalty to her. When her name 
was dragged in the mud, when his own life was at 
stake, he still saw in her that something of heaven 
and earth which is the basis of a great passion. 
Under the stars at Biarritz this tall, graceful woman 
employed all her witchery to win him to complete 
subjection. Neither the slights put upon her, nor 
the hostility of the Queen, who became alarmed 
at the sudden infatuation of her son, made any differ- 
ence to her plan. She moved deliberately and with 
fixed determination towards her goal. To the sound 
of music— maddening Hungarian Czardas and sug- 
gestive waltzes played on the terrace— she listened to 
words which from loyalty to her benefactor the Queen 
she ought to have stifled at their birth. The Queen 
discovered their love; she upbraided her lady-in- 
waiting, and finally dismissed her with violence from 
her entourage. *'Ah! that fatal woman who stole 
my son ! " says Natalie now in her grief 


Triumphantly Draga Maschine returned to the 
White City, where she had spent days of poverty and 
humiliation. She returned to live in shame yet 
affluence as the mistress of the young King. But 
she was a Servian born ; she was full of patriotism ; 
and she was fired with the ambition to feel the 
political pulse beat under her own hand. Soon 
she became recognised as a power which was 
exerted secretly and behind curtains, yet a power 
by no means to be despised. From the moment the 
King had sunk at her feet as her lover, she not only 
gained dominion over his private life, but dictated his 
public acts. It was at her suggestion that King 
Alexander, revolver in hand, declared himself of age ; 
that he locked up the Regents after inviting them 
to dinner ; and seizing the reins of government, 
proclaimed himself ruler of Servia. Russia suddenly 
discovered that the young King had the old hard 
grip of his ancestor, and her political interests urged 
her to throw out a net which might entangle him for 
ever. Never was a plot, the story of which I am 
privileged to narrate, arranged with greater skill 
and display of blandishments. 

Servia was beginning to chafe at the dominion 
which Draga Maschine exercised over the King. 

(Minister of War, killed in his own house by the officers.) 


She brought no added lustre to his name, and the 
constant scandals which had brought disrepute to 
King Milan had signalled the beginning of reaction. 
Russia knew the political leanings of the pretender, 
Peter Karageorgevitch. She felt that at all costs it 
would be well to wipe out the Obrenovitch for ever. 
The turbulent subjects of Alexander, and especially 
the Army, in which Colonel Maschine still fostered 
his purpose of revenge, could do little except scoff 
while Draga remained merely the King's mistress. 
But if once she became a Queen, Russia knew 
that the doom of the Obrenovitch would be sealed. 
Draga Maschine herself, whether it was fear, or 
because she hoped to fan the Kings ardour, 
resolutely refused to become his wife at this time. 
She had many enemies ; she was the butt of innumer- 
able jealous tongues ; and voluble women breathed 
old and new slanders on her name. 

But suddenly there arrived in Belgrade a Russian 
Colonel, a man of high position, who brought his 
wife with him. To the astonishment and indignation 
of society, Madame Draga Maschine was received in 
his house. This event became the talk of the hour, 
and tongues were busy with the King's amour. 
The Russian Colonel's wife was soon on terms of 



close intimacy with Draga ; and one day ventured 
to ask her the direct question, *' Why do you not 
ask the King to marry you? He would do so, I 
am sure." 

Draga coquetted with the question. *' I am quite 
happy; we love one another." ''Then you would 
not urge it upon him ? " persisted the diplomatist. 
"No," replied Draga Maschine ; but in her heart 
she knew that her hopes would soon be realised. 

" Let me tell you a little story," said this lady, 
simulating the confidences of friendship. " I was a 
long time living with the Colonel before he married 
me. His family protested, and I was most un- 
happy, until one day I heard of an old gypsy-woman 
who promised me a potion which, if I administered it 
to him, would make him my husband. You see ! all 
is said, I am his wife. Shall I get the potion from 
this old Wallachian gypsy ? Ah, Madame Draga ! 
you will have cause to rejoice, for the King will 
marry you, and you will be Queen of Servia." M 

Thus cunningly, under the disguise of a great 
friendship, Russia laid her snare. From that moment 
Draga was persistently urged to endeavour to become 
Queen. The potion was brought to her, her super- 
stition and private ambition were used as tools, until 


Draga, by still denying the King, fanned his love 
into a yet greater flame. 

The clever Russian diplomatist assured the King 
that all-powerful Russia would recognise the marriage. 
Innocentius the Archbishop was consulted, and — 
having been assured that the Czar would consent 
to act as best man — volunteered to perform the 
ceremony. Draga should be made Queen, and should 
receive the blessing of the Church with all the 
dignity it could bestow. 

The bond which made her into a Queen would 
unseat the King from his throne ; it would alienate 
him from his people ; it would rouse the foes and 
slanderers of his wife ; it would pave the way for 
a Karageorgevitch. 



The Archbishop Innocentius officiated at the union 
of Draga and King Alexander in the Cathedral at 
Belgrade, and bestowed upon them the blessing of 
the Church. The service was one in which the 
pomp of religious fervour blended with the im- 
portance of the occasion. Down to the minute 
details the ceremony suggested the ritual of the 
Jews — a linking together of promise and fulfilment, 
of type and of anti-type. There was a blaze of 
light and clouds of incense ; beyond the dove of 
the sanctuary was the veil of scarlet, covering the 
way to the Holy of Holies ; and the magnificent 
tones of the choir rose and fell with solemn signifi- 
cance. To Draga Maschine the presence of th 
Archbishop seemed to confirm the validity of he 
marriage. She herself had never thought it possible 
that a public proclamation would be given to the 

union, which, up to now, had made her the object 



c;enl:kal zinzak markowitz. 

(The Prime Minister, who was assassinated in his house the 
same night as the King and Queen.) 


of scorn and indignity. But now that she was Queen 
she seemed to have reached the summit of her hopes. 

The King was assailed with advice and even 
with expostulations. To this was added the echo 
of accumulated slander against his wife. One cannot 
but admire the firmness and loyalty which at this 
time he evinced. Everyone remarked upon his 
unshaken determination ; and for a time it seemed 
as if the resolute position which he adopted was 
to bear fruit. Never did a woman act with a better 
appearance of unconscious grace and dignity than 
did Queen Draga in this game of life and death. 

On a memorable day the sun shone for the last 
time on Draga Maschine. She was looking superbly 
handsome when she was driven in the King's 
carriage to the Cathedral, where she had often sat 
and knelt as one of the people and gazed upon the 
Prince from a distance. But now she was standing 
by his side as his wife and his Queen. The die 
was cast ; the irrevocable step had been taken ; and 
the brilliant young King drove back in happiness to 
the Konak, whilst a wondering and jealous people 
could scarcely believe that so strange a union had 
received religious sanction. 

The marriage of Draga rendered her all-powerful. 


She had already acquired a complete ascendency over 
the King, and her position was now assured. But 
she had roused against herself the bitterness of those 
who envied her present fortune and could not forget 
her past ; the women were jealous of her ; the men 
despised her. The mission of the Russian Colonel 
and his wife had now been fulfilled. They had 
placed in Draga's hand the weapon for her own 
destruction. She had pointed the sword at her own 
breast. Had she been content to remain a cypher 
in the political world, her terrible end might yet have 
been deferred and even averted. But her pride deter- 
mined her to secure her hold on the future. At 
length the time came when she experienced the 
bitter agony of discovering that she would bear no 
heir to the throne. She even encouraged a secret 
plot by which an alien child might be passed off as 
her own. But when the Czar was asked to be 
godfather to the child, he sent his own physician to 
make investigations. The humiliating result is known 
to all the world. Draga was now reduced to the 
single ambition of being received at the Russian 
Court, and for this end did not scruple to employ 
every artifice and subterfuge. But she found her 
royalty was not recognised. At length she even 



urged her husband to declare that he would recog- 
nise as heir-apparent a Prince of the Montenegrin 
family, on the condition that the royal family of Russia 
would receive her as Queen. 

But even this counsel of despair was doomed to 
failure. Never did woman more passionately desire 
a child of her own, both to strengthen her hold on 
the people and to satisfy her own instincts as a 
mother. To secure the former object she conceived 
the daring plan of placing on the throne her own 
brother, Nicodim Lunyevitza. But this step im- 
mediately aroused a determined protest from the 
Ministry. The Prime Minister and his colleagues 
arrived at the Palace, intending to implore the 
King to reconsider his plans for the succession. 

Alexander, accompanied by Draga, met them, and 
together they insisted on nominating her brother; 
a private interview was refused to the Ministers. 

This incident was speedily followed by the suspen- 
sion of the Constitution ; Draga's name became the 
object of universal execration. As men talked they 
spat upon the ground, as afterwards they spat upon 
her corpse arrayed in the pink dress in which they 
buried her. 

Already she was hurrying fast towards the end. 


The love-tragedy was approaching the catastrophe. 
There grew up against Draga a ferocity which sug- 
gested the barbarism of earlier ages. The ordinary 
routine of Court life became a farce. Every other 
interest, dynastic or political, was speedily followed 
up in the blood-feud which was a survival of savagery 
in the civilised world. The result is that for the 
third time the rival race of Kara George reigns 
in the White City of Death. 

There is one room in the Palace at Belgrade 
full of sad associations. Mirth may dwell there now, 
and the even pacing of the soldiery may still be heard 
outside — an outward show of calm and splendour. 
There lay the toys, broken by rude hands amid 
ribald laughter, which Draga bought for the heir 
she so passionately desired. But a little time ago 
blood-stained finger-marks were to be seen on the 
coverlid and walls. 

The tragedy of Draga's life will make her name 
live in Servian history and legend. So strenuous 
a soul cannot have passed away without leaving 
behind her the marks of that tragic struggle of love 
and fear, of doubt and resolve. But clouds gather 
round her name as the curtain falls on the tragedy 
of Belgrade. 




To the world at large the assassination at Belgrade 
came with unexpected suddenness. But in the city 
itself, and even elsewhere, there were not wanting 
signs and omens of the coming disaster. I may 
pass over the strange story of that clairvoyant who 
spoke to Queen Natalie and her young attendant, 
and that equally strange story, narrated by Mr. 
W. T. Stead and by the Servian Minister in London, 
of the clairvoyant who, a month before the murder, 
in the presence of nine or ten witnesses assembled 
in a London restaurant, foretold the death of Queen 
Draga. To those who were in the secrets of some of 
the Liberals and Radicals in Belgrade the end could 
have been foreseen, and no supernatural agency was 
needed to show that a revolution was impending. 
It is true that the King, probably inspired by his 
wife, cherished ambitions for the aggrandisement of 
his kingdom. It was his fixed policy to bring the 
inhabitants of Old Servia once again under his own 



sovereignty, and he was anxious to rescue the Serbs 
of Western Macedonia from the tyranny of the Turk. 
But the projected rounding off of his dominions was 
in his mind associated with a highly centralized 
monarchical government at home. Alexander had 
thus the ambitions of a despot without the harder 
qualities which make despotism successful. In the 
last years of his life his apparent strength lay in 
his uxoriousness : he was the creature of his wife, 
the slave of the ambitions she inspired. His rule 
broke forth into a fever of activity which recalls the 
abortive energy of our own James II. 

Nothing was more galling to the young King 
than the fetters imposed by the new Constitution. 
Absolutism he regarded as the Inheritance of the 
Obrenovltch dynasty, and a constitutional Govern- 
ment, as he understood it, meant the negation of 
kingship. Though he was mainly interested In the 
development of a foreign policy, he set himself first 
to weed out the obstructions presented by the pro- 
gressive parties at home. Like George III. of 
England, he set himself to secure a King's Party; 
but, like the grandfather of that monarch, he had: 
also to fear a rival claimant to the throne. At the last 
General Election he secured a substantial majority ; 


but the electoral machinery was openly ridiculed, and 
the King was accused of having terrorised the electors. 
He had already taken the precaution of investing 
large sums of money in English banks. There was 
much discontent in the Army owing to the appoint- 
ment of the King's personal friends to important 
posts in the service, so that the very device which 
he used to strengthen his control over the Army only 
served to weaken it. He became fearful when he 
realized that there was no successor to the throne : 
the woman who was ambitious to become the mother 
of kings remained childless ; and it was whispered 
that revolution was easiest when there was only one 
obstacle in the path. The King frantically looked 
round for a successor, and at last bethought himself 
of his brother-in-law, Nicodim. Without hesitation 
he began to lay plans for getting the Queen's brother 
declared Heir- Apparent by the Skupshtina. 

He could have taken no step better calculated 
to arouse the fury of the Opposition. It was his 
marriage with Draga which had started the discontent 
against the Throne ; her growing influence over him 
fomented it. The gossip about her former life was 
mixed with revolting scandals which had no shadow 
of foundation. The nobility never forgot that, though 


of noble origin, she had been the humble wife of an 
engineer, the patronised attendant of Queen Natalie ; 
others harped upon the fact that she had been a 
woman of smirched reputation. M. Pashics, the 
leader of the Democratic Party, declared that the 
King's union with Draga was a moral outrage. 
** The King and Queen," he said afterwards, " were 
driving the State to its ruin." When this feeling was 
at its height, the King was mad enough to propose 
as his successor a member of the hated family of the 
Queen. Instantly the friends of Peter Karageorge- 
vitch began to put their heads together ; those who 
had hitherto been partisans of the King remembered 
the Pretender residing at Geneva, who had a better 
claim, they thought, than this upstart Nicodim. 

The discontent had now developed into a tangible 
conspiracy. A lady was sent to interview Kara- 
georgevitch at Geneva, with definite instructions to' 
propose that he should come to Servia and be 
received as King by the Army, with the provision 
that he should accept the new Liberal Constitution 
which had been annulled by Alexander. Peter 
accepted the terms, and is said to have made various 
promises of office and emoluments to his supporters. 
In Belgrade, plots were set on foot to dispose oil 


(The scene ol the final act in the Servian tragedy.) 



the King and Queen. In the first attempt at assas- 
sination the notorious Alavantitch was knocked on 
the head with a revolver by an officer of the Palace, 
and fell dead. A boy who served in the King's 
kitchen was bribed to introduce poison into a dish 
served before the King and Queen. He was caught 
in the act by the cook, and committed suicide. 
Six weeks before the catastrophe an officer who 
knew the details of the conspiracy gave warning to 
the King of all that was happening. Even then 
he clearly did not recognise the extent of his danger. 
With the Army against him and the people apathetic, 
nothing could have saved him but flight or the divorce 
of Draga and complete submission to the Democratic 
Party. As it was, he aggravated the situation by 
transferring those officers who were known to be con- 
cerned in the conspiracy to garrisons in the interior. 

As the fatal loth of June approached, the 
conspirators, confident of success, assured of the 
intentions of Peter Karageorgevitch, scarcely deigned 
to conceal their intentions. Never were so many 
people cognisant of a plot to murder a King. The 
number of officers directly implicated is variously 
estimated at something between eighty and one 
hundred and fifty, the most authentic account being 


that which puts the figure at eighty-six. Colonel 
Maschine, a brother-in-law of the Queen, was the 
leading spirit ; and with the help of his fellow com- 
mander, Colonel Mishitch, he had completely won 
over the Sixth Regiment. The King alone remained 
confident of his own triumph, though everyone knew 
that plots were in the air, and Draga herself was 
terrified with the consciousness of impending evil. 
"I am haunted by a dreadful presentiment," she 
wrote to a friend the day before her death, ** and 
often at night I seem to see a terrifying picture of 
Michael in his death-agony, stretching his blood- 
stained hand towards his murderers and crying, 
* Stop, my brothers ! it is enough.' " 

On the evening of Wednesday, June loth, the 
conspirators met at the " Crown " Restaurant to 
discuss the final details for the invasion of the Palace. 
Colonel Maschine had made arrangements for co- 
operation within the Konak and without. The King's 
Adjutant, Lieutenant-Colonel Naoumovitch, who was 
acquainted with the movements of the royal house- 
hold, had made provision for the opening of the doors 
and the admission of the conspirators ; and he was 
probably provided with a form of abdication which 
the King would be called upon to sign. Outside 



3 % 

I g 

< s 

Q -O 


,, the Palace the Sixth Regiment was disposed by- 
its officers, to guard the rear of the conspirators 
and render assistance when called upon. Before 
eleven o'cloclc the troops had occupied the positions 
allotted to them, and had been joined by the group 
of officers who had solemnly sworn to carry their 
task through to the end. They made their way to 
the main gate of the precincts, which seems to have 
been opened from within, and, after a short struggle 

I with the guard, passed through the courtyard to the 
inner door of the Palace. The door was opened, 
and with what haste they could they went in the 
direction of the King's apartments. 

From this point the story becomes confused. 
According to one account, the electric light was 
switched off, and the officers were left in total dark- 
ness till they discovered some lighted candles in the 
antechamber of the King's bedroom. According to 
another account, the whole household was suddenly 
in an uproar, and the distracted officers ran up 
passages and staircases, hunting for the King, and 
killing everyone who dared to oppose them. Certainly 
one officer who was found in a passage was shot 
down on the spot, and a private who offered resistance 
received a bullet in his head. On the staircase the 


conspirators met General Petrowitch, who held a 
loaded revolver in his hand. 

'* What do you want ? " he is said to have cried. 

" Show me where the King and Queen are." 

" Stand back ! " was the reply, and, according to 
one account, he was instantly shot. But the truth 
seems to be that he led the conspirators up to the 
roof, and then, being assured that they desired 
nothing but the King's abdication, told them where 
they would find the royal couple. At any rate, he 
was killed, and the officers, led by Colonel Maschine, 
reached the locked door of the King's bedchamber. 
The King and Queen were within, and the murderers, 
shouting through the oaken door, and unable to gain 
admission, applied dynamite and burst the oaken 
panels into atoms. Colonel Naoumovitch is said to 
have been shot by an aide-de-camp whilst offering 
the form of abdication to the King. It was he 
who was officially described as '' dying on the field 
of honour for his Fatherland." 

Alexander and the Queen, clad only in night 
attire, had fled into an inner room, a small alcove 
not seven feet wide, surrounded by wardrobes. 
The time for parleying had passed ; the prayers and 
entreaties of Alexander and Draga were disregarded. 


Simultaneously the foremost officers, the youngest 
and least restrained, fired on the King, that none 
might know who had done the deed, and one 
savagely hacked at the Queen with his sabre. She 
shouted for help from the window, and, turning to 
face the assassins, was riddled with bullets and 
covered with sabre-wounds. On the next day marks 
of bullets were seen covering the ceiling, the coverlets, 
and the walls opposite the door. At seven minutes 
past two a.m. the clock had stopped ; it was at about 
that time that the dynamite bomb had shivered the 
door and made a way for the murderers. 

The leading conspirators had determined that the 
work should be carried out effectively. The younger 
officers who distinguished themselves by their ferocity 
were animated chiefly by hatred of Draga and the 
belief that the King had brought dishonour on the 
country and on the Army. But the movement was at 
bottom a political one ; the leaders were anxious to 
secure a revolution in the Government, and to bring 
back the Karageorgevitch dynasty. They knew that 
the existing ministry stood uncompromisingly for the 
policy of the King ; that, associated as they were 
with his acts, they could not but oppose the projected 
revolution. The success of the conspirators and 



their future safety could only be secured by the dis- 
appearance of the friends of the Obrenovitch. And 
so it was by no mere accident of savage impulse that 
the word went forth that the members of the re- 
actionary Ministry and the Queen's family must be 
sought out and slain. Those who were more 
enthusiastic in the work of bloodshed were the rough 
instruments of the plotters. Draga's two brothers, 
Nikola and Nikodim Lunyevitza, were among the 
first to be slain. The Queen's two sisters, who 
were reported killed, as a matter of fact escaped. 
Parties of officers proceeded to the houses of the 
chief members of the Ministry. The Prime Minister, 
General Zinzar Markowitz, and the Minister of War, 
General Pawlowitch, were killed. M. Todorowitch, 
the Minister of the Interior, was severely wounded ; 
and many senior officers who had refused to join 
the plot suffered the fate of the King's adherents. 

Meantime Colonel Dimitreff Nikolics, the Com- 
mandant of the Danube Division, was outside the 
city with the Eighth Infantry Regiment. As soon 
as he heard what was happening in Belgrade, he 
brought up his soldiers in the hope of rescuing 
the King. He was met at the gates of the city 
by a strong force of revolutionary troops under 


the command of Colonel Gagowitch. A fight ensued 
in which both the commanders were killed. 

On the following day the rain descended in 
torrents. Troops were in position, guns were 
mounted, the city was in the hands of the revo- 
lutionaries. The King, the Ministry, all that 
represented the old Government, had disappeared ; 
and excited crowds in the streets, pushing curiously 
about in the rain, learnt that they were to live under 
a new regime. The military leaders issued a decree 
proclaiming Peter Karageorgevitch King of Servia ; 
and the Provisional Government which had been set 
up, with M. Avakumovitch as Premier and M. 
Kalyevitch as Minister for Foreign Affairs, issued 
a proclamation summoning the Skupshtina for the 
following Monday. The Constitution of 1901, 
illegally suspended by Alexander in the previous 
March, was declared to be once again operative. 

Thus the revolution was effected, and with it 
passed away the last member of the Obrenovitch 
dynasty. The long vendetta between the rival houses 
had again and again convulsed the State, had weakened 
the Government, and tended to discredit Servian 
civilisation. Plot after plot had been carried through, 
and had brought to the surface the most savage 


element in the life of the people. The uncertain 
tenure of the throne led to the exaltation of the 
military, and made the normal development of 
constitutional government impossible. The horrors 
committed at the revolution of June loth have added 
one more danger to Servian life — the perpetual fear 
of the soldiery who can make and unmake a King. 
But, on the other hand, the sad death of Alexander 
and Draga, lamentable in itself, has at least removed 
the terrible inheritance of dynastic rivalry. The new 
holders of office can only make amends for the horror 
of the revolution by justifying the revolution itself — 
by asserting the claims of constitutional government 
against the private ambitions of the King on the one 
hand and the tyranny of the Army on the other. 

On the Friday of June 12th the King and Queen 
were buried, quietly and secretly, in the family vault 
of the Obrenovitch, in the chapel of the old cemetery 
of St. Mark. In the dead of night two coffins were 
carried up the Palace staircase, and in them were 
placed the shrouded bodies of Alexander and Draga. 
The hearse was driven at once to the burial-ground, 
and the coffins were let down into the vault. There 
two solitary priests attended, and in a few minutes 
pronounced the last words over the departed. 

X e 



{Taken from Madame MijatovicKs ''''Folk-lore.'') 

Once upon a time, a long, long while ago, there 
lived a young King, who wished very much to 
marry, but could not decide where he had better 
look for a wife. 

One evening, as he was walking disguised 
through the streets of his capital, as it was his 
frequent custom to do, he stopped to listen near an 
open window where he heard three young girls 
chatting gaily together. 

The girls were talking about a report which had 
been lately spread through the city, that the King 
intended soon to marry. 

One of the girls exclaimed, '*If the King would 
marry me I would give him a son who should be 
the greatest hero in the world." 

The second girl said, ♦' And if I were to be his 


wife I would present him with two sons at once — 
twins with golden hair." 

And the third girl declared that were the King 
to marry her, she would give him a daughter so 
beautiful that there should not be her equal in the 
whole wide world ! 

The young King listened to all this, and for 
some time, thought over their words, and tried to 
make up his mind which of the three girls he should 
choose for his wife. At last he decided that he 
would marry the one who had said she would bring 
him twins with golden hair. 

Having once settled this in his own mind, he 
ordered that all preparations for his marriage should 
be made forthwith, and shortly after, when all 
was ready, he married the second girl of the three. 

Several months after his marriage, the young 
King, who was at war with one of the neighbouring 
princes, received tidings of the defeat of his army, 
and heard that his presence was immediately required 
in the camp. He accordingly left his capital and 
went to his army, leaving the young Queen in his 
palace to the care of his stepmother. 

Now the King's stepmother hated her daughter- 
in-law very much indeed, so when the young Queen 


was near her confinement, the old Queen told her 
that it was always customary in the royal family for 
the heirs to the throne to be born in a garret. 

The young Queen (who knew nothing about 
the customs in royal families except what she had 
learnt from hearing and seeing since her marriage to 
the King) believed implicitly what her mother-in- 
law told her, although she thought it a great 
pity to leave her splendid apartments and go up 
into a miserable attic. 

Now when the golden-haired twins were born, 
the old Queen contrived to steal them out of their 
cradle, and put in their place two ugly little dogs. 
She then caused the two beautiful golden-haired 
boys to be buried alive in an out-of-the-way spot 
in the palace gardens, and then sent word to the 
King that the young Queen had given him two little 
dogs instead of the heirs he was hoping for. The 
wicked stepmother said in her letter to the King 
that she herself was not surprised at this, though 
she was very sorry for his disappointment. As to 
herself, she had a long time suspected the young 
Queen of having too great a friendship for goblins 
and elves and all kinds of evil spirits. 

When the King received this letter, he fell into 


a frightful rage, because he had only married the 
young girl in order to have the golden-haired twins 
she had promised him as heirs to his throne. 

So he sent word back to the old Queen that 
his wife should be put at once into the dampest 
dungeon in the castle, an order which the wicked 
old woman took good care to see carried out without 
delay. Accordingly the poor young Queen was 
thrown into a miserably dark dungeon under the 
palace and kept on bread and water. 

Now there was only a very small hole in this 
prison — hardly large enough to let in light and air — 
yet the old Queen caused a great many people 
to pass by this hole, and whoever passed was 
ordered to spit at and abuse the unhappy young 
Queen, calling out to her, ''Are you really the 
Queen ? Are you the girl who cheated the King in 
order to be a Queen ? Where are your golden- 
haired twins ? You cheated the King and your 
friends, and now the witches have cheated you ! " 

But the young King, though terribly angry and 
mortified at his great disappointment, was, at the 
same time, too sad and troubled to be willing to 
return to his palace. So he remained away for fully 
nine years. When he at last consented to return. 


the first thing he noticed in the palace gardens were 
two fine young trees, exactly the same size and the 
same shape. 

These trees had both golden leaves and golden 
blossoms, and had grown up of themselves from the 
very spot where the stepmother of the King had 
buried the two golden-haired boys she had stolen 
from their cradle. 

The King admired these two trees exceedingly, 
and was never weary of looking at them. This, 
however, did not at all please the old Queen, for she 
knew that the two young princes were buried just 
where the trees grew, and she always feared that 
by some means what she had done would come to 
the King's ears. She therefore pretended that she 
was very sick, and declared that she was sure that 
she should die unless her stepson, the King, ordered 
the two golden-leaved trees to be cut down, and a 
bed made for her out of their wood. 

As the King was not willing to be the cause of 
her death, he ordered that her wishes should be 
attended to, notwithstanding he was exceedingly sorry 
to lose his favourite trees. 

A bed was soon made from the two trees, and 
the seemingly sick old Queen was laid on it as she 


desired. She was quite delighted that the golden- 
leaved trees had disappeared from the garden ; but 
when midnight came, she could not sleep a bit, for 
it seemed to her that she heard the boards of which 
her bed was made in conversation with each other. 

At last it seemed to her that one board said, 
quite plainly, ** How are you, my brother ? " And the 
other board answered, ** Thank you, I am very well ; 
how are you ? " '' Oh, I am all right," returned the first 
board ; ** but I wonder how our poor mother is in her 
dark dungeon ? Perhaps she is hungry and thirsty." 

The wicked old Queen could not sleep a minute 
all night, after hearing this conversation between the 
boards of her new bed ; so next morning she got up 
very early and went to see the King. She thanked 
him for attending to her wish, and said she already 
was much better, but she felt quite sure she would 
never recover thoroughly unless the boards of her 
new bed were cut up and thrown into the fire. The 
King was sorry to lose entirely even the boards 
made out of his two favourite trees ; nevertheless 
he would not refuse to use the means pointed out 
for his stepmother's perfect recovery. 

So the new bed was cut to pieces and thrown 
into the fire. But whilst the boards were blazing 


and crackling, two sparks from the fire fell into 
the courtyard, and in the next moment two beautiful 
lambs with golden fleeces and golden horns were 
seen gambolling about the yard. 

The King admired them greatly, and made m^ny 
inquiries who had sent them there, and to whom 
they belonged. He even sent the public crier many 
times through the city, calling on the owners of the 
golden-fleeced lambs to appear and claim them ; 
but no one came, so at length he thought he might 
fairly take them as his own property. 

The King took very great care of these two 
beautiful lambs, and every day directed that they 
should be well fed and attended to ; this, however, 
did not at all please his stepmother. She could not 
endure even to look on the lambs with their golden 
fleeces and golden horns, for they always reminded 
her of the golden-haired twins ; so in a little while 
she pretended again to be dangerously sick, and 
declared she felt sure she should soon die unless 
the two lambs were killed and cooked for her. 

The King was even fonder of his golden- 
fleeced lambs than he had been of the golden-leaved 
trees, but he could not long resist the tears and 
prayers of the old Queen, especially as she seemed 


to be very ill. Accordingly, the lambs were killed, 
and a servant was ordered to carry their golden 
fleeces down to the river, and to wash the blood 
well out of them. But whilst the servant held them 
under the water, they slipped, in some way or 
another, out of his fingers and floated down the 
stream, which just at that place flowed very rapidly. 
Now it happened that a hunter was passing near 
the river a little lower down, and, as he chanced 
to look in the water, he saw something strange in 
it. So he stepped into the stream, and soon fished 
out a small box, which he carried to his house, and 
there opened it. To his unspeakably great surprise, 
he found in the box two golden-haired boys. Now 
the hunter had no children of his own ; he there- 
fore adopted the twins he had fished out of the 
river, and brought them up just as if they had been 
his own sons. When the twins were grown up into 
handsome young men, one of them said to his foster- 
father, '* Make us two suits of beggars' clothes, and 
let us go and wander a little about the world." 
The hunter, however, replied and said, " No, I will 
have a fine suit made for each of you, such as is 
fitting for two such noble-looking young men." But 
as the twins begged hard that he should not spend 


his money uselessly in buying fine clothes, telling 
him that they wished to travel about as beggars, the 
hunter — who always liked to do as his handsome 
foster-sons wished — did as they desired, and ordered 
two suits of clothes, like those worn by beggars, 
to be prepared for them. The two sons then 
dressed themselves up as beggars, and as well as 
they could hid their beautiful golden locks, and 
then set out to see the world. They took with 
them a gusle and a cymbal, and maintained them- 
selves by their singing and playing. 

They had wandered about in this way some 
time, when one day they came to the King's palace. 
As the afternoon was already pretty far advanced, 
the young musicians begged to be allowed to pass 
the night in one of the outbuildings belonging to the 
court, as they were poor men, and quite strangers 
in the city. The old Queen, however, who happened 
to be just then in the courtyard, saw them, and 
hearing their request, said sharply that beggars 
could not be permitted to enter any part of the 
King's palace. The two travellers said they had 
hoped to pay for their night's lodging by their songs 
and music, as one of them played and sang to the 
gusle, and the other to the cymbal. 


The old Queen, however, was not moved by 
this, but insisted on their going away at once. 
Happily for the two brothers, the King himself 
came out into the courtyard just as his stepmother 
angrily ordered them to go away, and at once 
directed his servants to find a place for the musicians 
to sleep in, and ordered them to provide the brothers 
with a good supper. After they had supped, the 
King commanded them to be brought before him, 
that he might judge of their skill as musicians, and 
that their singing might help him to pass the time 
more pleasantly. 

Accordingly, after the two young men had taken 
the refreshment provided for them, the servants 
took them into the King's presence, and they began 
to sing this ballad : 

** The pretty bird, the swallow, built her nest 
with care in the palace of the King. In the nest she 
reared up happily two of her little ones. A black, 
ugly-looking bird, however, came to the swallow's 
nest to mar her happiness and to kill her two little 
ones. And the ugly black bird succeeded in destroy- 
ing the happiness of the poor little swallow ; the 
little ones, however, although yet weak and unfledged, 
were saved, and, when they were grown up and able 


to fly, they came to look at the palace, where their 
mother, the pretty swallow, had built her nest." 

This strange song the two minstrels sang so 
very sweetly that the King was quite charmed, and 
asked them the meaning of the words. 

Whereupon the two meanly dressed young men 
took off their hats, so that the rich tresses of their 
golden hair fell down over their shoulders, and the 
light glanced so brightly upon it that the whole 
hall was illuminated by the shining. They then 
stepped forward together, and told the King all 
that had happened to them and to their mother, and 
convinced him that they were really his own sons. 

The King was exceedingly angry when he heard 
all the cruel things his stepmother had done, and he 
gave orders that she should be burnt to death. He 
then went with the two golden-haired princes to the 
miserable dungeon wherein his unfortunate wife had 
been confined so many years, and brought her once 
more into her beautiful palace. There, looking on 
her golden-haired sons, and seeing how much the 
King, their father, loved them, she soon forgot all her 
long years of misery. As to the King, he felt that 
he could never do enough to make amends for all 
the misfortunes his Queen had lived through and all 



the dangers to which his twin sons had been exposed. 
He felt that he had too easily believed the stories 
of the old Queen, because he would not trouble 
himself to inquire more particularly into the truth 
or falsehood of the strange things she had told 

After all this mortification, and trouble, and 
misery, everything came right at last. So the King 
and his wife, with their golden-haired twins, lived 
together long and happily. 


{Translated by Her Excellency Madame Mtjatovich.) 


The maiden of Kossovo rose early 

On the Sabbath morn, sooner than sunrise ; 

From her round arms she turn'd back the white sleeves, 

Turn'd them backward above the white elbows. 

On her shoulders a bag was with white bread, 

And in her hands were two golden vessels, — 

One vessel was fresh filled with cool water, 

The other to the brim was with red wine. 

She went straight to the Plain of Kossovo, 

And sadly walked over the battle-field 

Where the glorious Czar Lazar had fallen. 

In the blood-pools she turned round the heroes, 

And if she found still one of them breathing 

She bathed him gently with clear cold water ; 

As sacrament she gave him the red wine. 

And fed him with small crumbs of the white bread. 



In her wanderings she came, God-guided, 
To the brave young knight, Orlovich Pavle ; 
He who carried the Czar Lazar s standard. 
She found him yet aHve, and still conscious, 
Though the right arm was slash'd from the shoulder 
And the left leg cut off from the knee-joint ; 
Yet alive, though his ribs all were broken, 
And his lungs were laid bare to the daylight ! 

She drew him gently forth from a blood-lake, 
She bathed him softly with clear, cold water ; 
Then she gave him to drink of the red wine. 
And fed him with small crumbs of the white bread. 

When his heart-beatings grew somewhat stronger 
Said brave Orlovich faint to the maiden : 
*' My sister, — fair maiden of Kossovo, 
Tell me what is the dire need which drives thee 
To move brave men in midst of their life-blood ? 
Whom seekest thou, so young, in this red field ? 
A. brother ? Or the son of a brother ? — 
Or is it thine old father thou seekest ? " 

Then the maiden of Kossovo answered : 
** Dear brother ! dear thou art, though a stranger ! 
I am seeking here none of my kindred ; 
Neither brother nor son of a brother ; — 


I seek not even my own old father ! 

To thee it must be known, O strange Voyvode, 

That all the Czar's men took communion 

In the beautiful church Samodreja ; 

The whole army took there communion. 

" Last of all came three valiant Voyvodes, 

Obilich Milosh.. Kosancfiich Ivan, 

And the third one, Milan of Toplitza. 

Three noble Voyvodes ! three of the noblest ! 

They never had their equals in this world ! 

When they walk'd, their swords rang on the pavement, 

On their heads they wore kalpaks of pure silk, 

Round their shoulders hung long chains of gold 

On their necks they wore kerchiefs of silk cloth ; 
They wore also gold rings on their fingers. 

** When the Obilich Milosh passed by me, 
He gave me for a present his gold chain ; 
When the Kosanchich Ivan passed by me. 
He gave me for a present his gold ring ; 
But when Milan of Toplitza passed by. 
He gave to me his fine glove of gold thread ; 
And he marked me thereby for his true love. 
These seek I to-day on the battle-field." 


Said again to her Orlovich Pavle : 

** My dear sister, maiden of Kossovo, 

Dost thou not see there those broken war-spears ? 

The last life-blood of heroes has flowed there ! 

Flowed high up as the stirrups of war-steeds ! 

It has reached to the belts of the footmen ! 

It is there thy three heroes have fallen ! 

But go back to thy white house, my sister ! 

Stain not thus thy white skirts and thy white sleeves." 

When the maiden of Kossovo heard him, 
The great tears fell fast over her white cheeks. 

She went back to the house of her father ; 
Wildly weeping she went back, and wailing. 
*' Woe to me ! What ill-luck hath befallen me ! — 
Oh, were I but to touch the green pine-tree, 
The green tree at my sad touch would wither." 



The following interesting particulars relating to the 
Election of King Peter I. of Servia are reprinted 
by kind permission of the London Daily Chronicle : 



Te Deum at the Cathedral. 


Apathy of the People. 

A solemn thanksgiving service was performed 
yesterday at Belgrade, and attended by the Ministers 
of State and Army officers. The Metropolitan of Bel- 
grade delivered a discourse, in which he thanked the 
Army for what it had done and praised its behaviour. 

Fears are expressed in the Servian capital that 
the Army, having executed the coup cUdtat, may 
continue to exercise arbitrary power. The feeling, 
however, is generally one of apathy. 



The deputation from the National Assembly 
was reported to have left for Geneva. Its departure, 
however, has been delayed, chiefly owing to financial 
difficulties. It is therefore doubtful when King 
Peter will start for the Servian capital. 

Belgrade, June i^th. 

The deputation which will go to Geneva to offer 
the Crown to Prince Peter Karageorgevitch is 
composed of twenty-four members, namely, four 
Senators and twenty Deputies. They will leave 
to-morrow with the officers who have been nominated 
for attendance on His Majesty. 

In reply to the statement of the Provisional 
Government at the opening of the sitting of the 
National Assembly to-day, the latter adopted a resolu- 
tion declaring that it greeted with enthusiasm the 
new order of things brought about by the occurrences 
of June nth, and thereby gave expression to the 
complete solidarity of feeling of the whole Servian 
people and of the Servian Army. At the same time 
it recognised and approved the attitude of the Army, 
which was and remained the shield of the Fatherland, 
the defender of law and order, and a pledge for an 
upright and brilliant future. The Assembly further 
expressed its gratitude to the Provisional Government 
for the patriotism it had shown at such a fateful 
time, endorsed the measures adopted by it, and 
directed it to continue the conduct of affairs until 
the arrival of the new King. 



June i6th. 

Notwithstanding the issue of a notice by the 
municipal authorities yesterday calling upon the 
inhabitants to decorate their houses, the town can 
hardly be said to present a festive appearance. This 
is regarded as the best proof of the extraordinary 
lack of interest displayed by the majority of the 
people, whom the events that have shaken the State 
to its foundations have failed to arouse from apathy. 
The illumination of the city last night was not 
particularly brilliant. A military band marched 
through the streets playing, but heavy rain began 
to fall, and the streets were soon empty. 

The Thanksgiving Service. 

The Chambers met at ten o'clock this morning, 
and adjourned for the purpose of going to the 
Cathedral, where a great thanksgiving service, with 
Te Deum, was performed. 

The service was attended by the Ministers, the 
members of the Skupshtina, and a large congregation. 
The Metropolitan of Belgrade officiated. The service 
was characterised by the lavish and stately ceremonial 
of the Eastern Church. The Cathedral presented 
a picturesque scene. The aged Metropolitan, who 
was vested in a cope of purple and cloth of gold, 
and wore a jewelled mitre on his head, was sur- 
rounded by the Bishops and the Cathedral Chapter. 
Half of the congregation was composed of Army 


officers in full uniform. The Ministers wore evening 
dress, with all their orders. 

The Metropolitan read a brief address con- 
gratulating the nation upon the restoration of the 
Karageorgevitch dynasty, which, he said, had 
included so many brave and noble men. While 
deploring the necessity for the recent events, the 
Metropolitan thanked the Army for what it had done 
and praised its behaviour. As the Prelate spoke 
these words of eulogy the officers present audibly 
expressed their pleasure. The Metropolitan concluded 
by invoking the Divine blessing upon King Peter, 
and expressing the hope that under him Servia would 
enjoy peace and prosperity. 

While the service was proceeding cannon boomed 
at intervals outside. The street in front of the 
Cathedral was lined with soldiers. 

The Premier's Telegram to the New King. 

The following is the text of the telegram by 
which M. Avakumovitch, the Servian Premier, 
informed King Peter of his election : 

** Peter Karageorgevitch, Geneva. — The national 
representatives of the people sitting together have 
just elected you King of Servia. While making you 
acquainted with this, the Government of Servia 
has the honour to tender you its heartiest congratu- 
lations, and to express their desire that our country 
may have a fortunate and glorious future in store 


for it under the rule of a grandson of the famous 
Kara George I., the liberator of Servia." 

The telegram of the Presidents and Vice-Presidents 
of the Senate and Skupshtina was as follows : 

" The national representatives of the people of 
the kingdom of Servia have unanimously and en- 
thusiastically chosen you hereditary King of Servia. 
We, the undersigned, President and Vice-Presidents, 
have the honour to convey to you their most cordial 
and enthusiastic congratulations." 

In reply to these messages M. Velimirovitch, 
President of the Skupshtina, has received a telegram 
from the new King, saying that Parliament has laid 
His Majesty under an everlasting obligation, and that 
he would ever be the first champion of the liberties 
of the nation, and the most faithful Constitutional 
protector of the rights of the National Assembly. 

** The Army's Hero." 

Guns were booming in honour of the new King, 
and the bells were ringing out merrily from the 
church towers this morning, when a solemn funeral 
procession passed down the main street of Belgrade, 
attended by all the elaborate ritual display of the 
Greek Church. A regiment of soldiers, headed by 
its band, followed. It was the funeral of a young 
lieutenant, to whom has been accorded the title of 
"The Army's Hero." On the night of the attack 
on the Konak, the commander of the division of 


troops which was lying encamped in the environs 
of the city was surprised in the Palace by the con- 
spirators. He managed to escape, and meeting a 
mounted orderly carrying dispatches to his own 
division, ordered him to dismount. Taking the horse 
himself, the officer rode towards his division in order 
to try and bring up some regiments to the King's 
help. Just before reaching the camp he was over- 
taken by the lieutenant, and a hand-to-hand fight 
ensued. The commander was killed, and the lieu- 
tenant mortally wounded. He was conveyed to a 
hospital, where he lingered until yesterday. 

The mother of the dead officer, in tears, and 
supported on either side by a bareheaded officer, 
walked behind the coffin. 


Grand Review of Troops. 
Royal Proclamation. 

Belgrade, Thursday night. 

So far, everything but the weather has gone well. 
Last night, while a torchlight procession was in pro- 
gress and the multitude was thronging round the new 
Palace, a heavy shower of rain fell and thinned the 
crowd. The rain ceasing after a while, the King 
appeared on the balcony amid loud acclamations. 
Then several glee societies sang national songs, and 
the Mayor of Belgrade afterwards made a speech in 


(Servian Minister at the Court of St. James. 


which he expressed joy at the return of the old 
Servian dynasty. The King replied in a long speech, 
expressing his desire for the prosperous development 
of the city of Belgrade. 

This morning at nine o'clock the King took the 
oath to the Constitution. At eight o'clock the Senators 
and Deputies had assembled in the Skupshtina's small, 
old house, built in the Turkish style, which was 
draped with the national colours. Many were in 
evening dress or military uniforms, but there were 
some who appeared in parti-coloured peasant costumes. 
The galleries and the seats of the absent Diplomatic 
Body were filled with foreign journalists. The 
Metropolitan, assisted by numerous clergy, celebrated 
mass. A throne had been erected in the place usually 
occupied by the President's desk, in front of which 
was a small gilt table. 

When the music outside announced the approach 
of the King the President of the Senate (M. Veli- 
mirovitch), with the Cabinet Ministers, passed quickly 
to the entrance in order to receive His Majesty. 
Enthusiastic shouts from the populace greeted King 
Peter on entering the building, and the popular 
ovation was followed by the prolonged cheers of the 
assembly as the King walked to the throne. There 
he stood for several seconds silent ; then in a clear 
voice His Majesty said: *' God help you, brethren! 
God help you ! " '* Long life to the King ! " resounded 
through the hall in reply. 

During the ceremony all stood. The King, who 


wore a General's uniform and the Russian Order of 
St. Andrew, stood in a graceful attitude, looking 
round in a friendly way upon the assembly ; but he 
was visibly suffering in health. His appearance and 
unassuming demeanour made the best impression ; 
and the remark was frequently heard : ''He will be 
a good, popular ruler, such as the country wants." 

The Mass concluded, the King, taking off his 
gloves, and placing his right hand on the Bible, read 
the form of oath in a loud voice, and with due 
emphasis. The King's oath was in the following 
terms : 

** I, Peter Karageorgevitch, on ascending the 
Throne of the Kingdom of Servia, and assuming 
the Royal Power, swear by Almighty God and by 
all that is holiest and dearest to me upon this earth 
that I will protect the independence of Servia and 
the unity of its Government, that I will maintain 
inviolate the Constitution of the country, that I will 
govern in conformity with the Constitution and with 
the laws, and that in all my undertakings and dealings 
I will keep the welfare of my people before my eyes. 
Taking this my oath solemnly before God and the 
people, I call to witness the Lord God, to whom I 
shall give account at His judgment seat. So help 
me, God. Amen." 

His Majesty was greeted with loud applause at 
the conclusion of the recital. 

After this ceremony, which lasted about a quarter 
of an hour. His Majesty left for Banjiza Common, 



where he held a grand military review. The King 
appeared on a white stallion. Next him rode General 
Popovitch and the War Minister (General Atanaz- 
kovitch), and a long cavalcade of officers followed 
the King as he rode along the front of the troops. 
At half-past ten the King came back to the saluting 
post, where he conversed with the Russian and 
Austrian Military Attaches. In the march past the 
first of the troops presented by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Mishitch — who, by the way, fired the first shot at 
King Alexander — was the Sixth Infantry Regiment, 
which took a prominent part in the conspiracy. 

" To THE Past I Consign the Past." 

Belgrade, June 2^th. 

King Peter to-day issued the following Pro- 
clamation : 

*'To my Beloved People, — This occasion, the first 
on which I address the Servian people as King, is 
full of significance for myself as well as for the country. 
The national representatives, in agreement with the 
feelings and wishes of the whole people, have 
unanimously elected me King of Servia. Having 
accepted this choice, I have to-day, in accordance 
with the provisions of the Constitution, taken the 
oath before the national representatives of the people 
as Servia s Constitutional King, and I now announce 


to my beloved people that from to-day I enter upon 
my royal rights and duties. By God's providence, 
and with the people's will, which a century ago chose 
my grandfather Kara George to lead the Servian 
people in the sacred struggle for independence, I have 
also ascended the throne of the Kingdom of Servia 
on which my father, Prince Alexander, ruled for 
sixteen years as the chosen of the people. Accus- 
tomed at all times to speak and act sincerely and 
openly, and resolved to devote all my care to the 
happiness and welfare of the people, I consider it to 
be my first duty on this solemn and momentous 
occasion to express my deep conviction that the ruler 
should be the bearer of the freedom and progress 
of his people. I will be a true Constitutional King 
of Servia. For me all Constitutional guarantees of 
freedom and popular rights, which are the basis of 
all regular and prosperous development as well as 
of all national progress and Constitutional life, are 
sacred trusts which I will always carefully respect 
and guard. I expect every one to do the same. 
Imbued with these sentiments, to the past I consign 
the past, and I leave it to history to judge each one 
according to his deeds. Remaining true to the 
traditions of Servia's forefathers, I will allow myself 
to be guided in foreign politics by the time-honoured 
endeavours of the Servian people, and will at the 
same time maintain friendly relations, especially with 
neighbouring Powers, which the necessity for 
European concord demands. My gallant Army, of 

Z //.J....:^L. JUc.^^^^ A-ra^ ,^^^ j/^^i/>. 



whose services and devotion to the Fatherland I here 
express my royal recognition, I will raise to a height 
worthy of the hope of the Servian people. With 
these thoughts and sentiments, at the same time I 
fully realise the difficulty and extent of my duties 
as Ruler. I am convinced, however, of the loyal 
support of the people, and I trust that by the help 
of God and my people I shall bring welfare, progress, 
and prosperity to Servia." — Renter, 

Provisional Government to Remain. 

This afternoon King Peter confirmed the appoint- 
ment of the Cabinet as at present constituted. — Renter. 


Service at the Cathedral. 

Popular Enthusiasm. 

Belgrade, Wednesday night. 

At ten o'clock this morning King Peter made 
his entry into Belgrade. It was pouring all yesterday 
and throughout the night, the weather being cold 
and gloomy. This morning the rain stopped, and 
crowds of peasants in gay costumes from the country 
filled the streets, those leading to the station being 
thronged. The streets were gaily decorated, and 
lined all along with soldiers. All the shops were 
closed. Cabinet Ministers, Generals, Senators, and 



Deputies assembled to greet the King, but of the 
diplomatic body only the Russian and Austrian 
Ministers put in an appearance. 

On the stroke of ten o'clock was heard the whistle 
of an engine, causing a thrill to pass through the 
assembled multitudes. The King's train had crossed 
the Save Bridge ; the King had entered Servian 
territory. The firing of cannon announced the event 
so important to Servia. Three minutes later the 
special train steamed into the station while a band 
played a lively march. The National Anthem was 
not played, for obvious reasons. 

Loud and prolonged cheers greeted the King 
on his emerging from the railway carriage. He 
was wearing the uniform of a Servian General, with 
the ribbon of the Russian Order of Saint Andrew 
recently bestowed on him by the Czar. King Peter 
is a man of imposing appearance, but he was very 
pale, his face clearly showing great excitement and 
the fatigue of a long journey. His Majesty went 
straight up to the Prime Minister, M. Avakumovitch, 
who addressed the King, pointing out the great 
importance of to-day's event, and reminding him that 
the Karageorgevitch family have deserved well of 
their country. He expressed the hope that now a 
new era would dawn for Servia, an era of tranquillity, 
peace, order, and law. He hoped that with King 
Peter happiness would enter Servia, and concluded 
with calling for cheers for King Peter Karageorge- 
vitch the First, grandson of the Great Karageorgevitch. 


Enthusiastic '' zivios " followed the Prime Minister's 

King Peter replied in a low voice trembling with 
emotion. He thanked them for the splendid reception 
they had given him, and for the unanimity with 
which he had been elected. The King remarked 
that in a distant land he had keenly felt for the 
fate of his country, and that he should do all in his 
power to make Servia happy. His Majesty, in con- 
clusion, called for cheers for the Servian nation and 
the Servian land. The royal speech evoked loud 
and enthusiastic applause. 

The Prime Minister then introduced the Cabinet 
Ministers to His Majesty, after which the King, 
accompanied by the Premier, passed down the line 
of the guard of honour, saluting it. Next came the 
presentation of Generals to the King, after which 
M. Pavlovitch, a member of the Communal Council, 
addressed the King, greeting him in the name of 
the citizens of Belgrade, and according to Slav custom 
offering His Majesty bread and -salt. The King 
briefly returned thanks. 

Before entering the waiting-room M. Avaku- 
movitch presented to His Majesty M. Tcharikoff", the 
Russian Minister. The latter afterwards presented 
Herr Dumba, the Austrian Minister. That formality 
signified that Austria-Hungary has no relations with 
the present Cabinet. All the other dignitaries were 
then presented to the King by the Prime Minister. 
The entire ceremony at the station lasted only a 


quarter of an hour. The King then entered a State 
carriage drawn by four horses, having been presented 
with a magnificent bouquet by a deputation of twenty 
ladies. Accompanied by the Ministers and amidst 
the applause of the people, His Majesty started for 
the Cathedral. 

A detachment of guards surrounded the King, 
who was followed by the members of his suite. The 
crowds, as they caught sight of King Peter, hailed 
him with long-continued and jubilant shouts along 
the entire route, and flowers were continually thrown 
into the carriage. His Majesty bowed to the people 
in all directions, seeming to have won all hearts at 
one stroke. The King's unaffected and distinguished 
demeanour, his steadfast and friendly glance, electrified 
the multitude, and from all sides was heard the cry 
of the people, ''That's a King; look at him. How 
different from the shy, clumsy Alexander!" The 
enthusiastic acclamations of the assembled multitudes 
seemed to rouse the King, who was at first pale 
and diffident. By degrees he gained confidence, and 
his face was radiant with joy while again and again 
he bowed his acknowledgments, at the same time 
carrying on a lively conversation with the Premier, 
who was seated on his left. 

In the Cathedral. 

The ceremony in the Cathedral, which was 
attended by Civil servants from the Ministries and 


O t 


other public offices, as well as the higher dignitaries 
of State, was most impressive. The Metropolitan 
entered from the doors of the high altar, preceded 
by a solemn procession of priests and incense-bearers. 
At the termination of the Mass, which was attended 
by all the splendour of the Eastern Church, the aged 
Metropolitan, wearing his robes of State, addressed 
the King in heartfelt words, saying all that happens 
on earth happens according to God's will. 

'* The entire nation" (he said) ''has sanctioned your 
election, and so we pray God to bless your Majesty, 
to save you, to bless your reign for the welfare of 
the country." Then the King advanced towards 
the altar, knelt down, offered up a fervent prayer, 
and kissed the cross held out to him by the 

Prolonged and enthusiastic acclamations again 
greeted the King on leaving the Cathedral. Re- 
entering his carriage. His Majesty took his way to 
the new Palace, preceded by a squadron of cavalry, 
and followed by his suite and numerous officers on 
lorseback. After them came some score of carriages, 
:ontaining the Servian dignitaries. 

On arrival at the new Palace, which is close to 
:he old Konak, the scene of the Obrenovitch tragedy, 
:he King showed himself to his people on the balcony, 
3eing visibly moved. He wanted to address the 
nultitude, but the thundering cheers of the crowd 
irowned his voice. 

In the Palace the King was addressed by 


M. Velimirovitch, the President of the Senate, in 
the presence of the members of the Senate and of 
the Skupshtina. This was the last appearance of the 
Senate, which disappears under the new Constitution. 

Despite the dull and cold weather which continued, 
crowds of people thronged the streets, particularly 
before the new Palace, to catch a glimpse of the 
new King, bands of music playing rousing tunes 
marched through the town, and divers popular amuse- 
ments were arranged in different parts of the capital. 
Most of the people are wearing medallions with the 
King's portrait. Everywhere is manifested a feeling 
of relief that at last the King has arrived and the 
crisis is over. 

After the reception of the King by the Senate 
and the Skupshtina His Majesty withdrew to his 
apartments. For the present the King will not enter 
the old Konak, the scene of the disgraceful crimes. 
Its blinds were drawn down to-day, as the work 
of removing the traces of murder and the restoration 
of things destroyed is still going on. The Ministers 
and some twenty Generals and dignitaries dined with 
the King in the evening, and preparations are being 
made for a grand torchlight procession. 

All the late King Alexander's servants retain their 
offices in the household, and are now waiting upon 
King Peter. The fact is commented upon that the 
crowds to-day heartily cheered all the military officers 
who rode by, and frequently shouted, '* Long live the 
Army ! *' 


Among those presented to His Majesty was Colonel 
Maschine in full uniform. 

Belgrade, Friday night. 

Yesterday and to-day, just a fortnight after the 
horrible slaughter, the people of Belgrade have given 
themselves up to grand popular fHes, rejoicing at 
the new state of things. The King has taken an 
active part in these festivities, fraternising with the 

On arriving at the park he ordered away the 
gendarmes who had been posted by his pavilion, and 
asked the people to come nearer. He shook hands 
with soldiers and peasants, kissed the children, and 
constantly encouraged them to dance. These royal 
acts were greeted with continued cheers, whereupon 
the King called out, ** Cheer less and dance more." 
A man came and asked the King to open the national 
**Kolo" dance. His Majesty replied, ** I cannot 
dance." The peasant insisted, and it took some time 
for the King to persuade the peasant that it could 
not be done. Suddenly King Peter beheld in the 
crowd a pretty peasant-girl. He called to her and 
asked her to open the dance, which she readily did. 
Gypsy music was played, and the people danced round 
the royal pavilion. | The King, who for some time 
cheerfully watched the dancing, sat down, lighted a 
cigarette, and conversed with M. Kalyevitch, the 
Minister for Foreign Affairs. 

The first order given by the King concerns the 


foreign Press. Henceforth no foreign papers must 
be seized or blacked. " Servia," said the King, 
'* shall henceforth know the opinion of foreign 
nations." When the King retired to his apartment 
last night the eke/ de cuisine inquired which were His 
Majesty's favourite dishes. The King replied, " I 
have no time for menus, and I do not wish ever to 
be asked about those matters." The King has re- 
engaged all King Alexander's Court servants. 

To-day was the King's first reception. Only the 
Russian and Austro- Hungarian Ministers appeared, 
the former with the whole legation, and the latter with 
his attache A band of music played in the garden 
behind the Palace. The King's conversation with 
the diplomats was of short duration. Then came the 
high clergy, deputies, senators, and officers. To 
everyone the King made a few pleasant remarks. 

A great effect has been produced by the Emperor 
William's telegram, this being the first reply to King 
Peter's notification. In his reply the Kaiser expressed 
a desire that Servia should under King Peter be 
conducted in the way of peace and progress, and 
congratulated the King on his ascension of the 

The Austro- Hungarian Minister resumed official 
relations with the Servian Government to-day. 
It is confidently expected here that in a day or 
two all other nations, perhaps with the exception 
of Great Britain, will resume relations with the 


Cheers at the Theatre. 

Belgrade, June 25/A. 

A gala performance was held at the theatre here 
to-night. The performance took the form of an 
allegorical representation of the freeing of Servia 
by Kara George I. The King, on entering the 
house, received the most enthusiastic demonstration 
since his arrival in Belgrade. 

His Majesty, who did not speak, sat between 
the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign 
Affairs. Before the end of the performance the King 
sent away his military escort and returned to the 
Palace unguarded. 

June 26th, 

The King's action in dispensing with his military 
escort on his return from the theatre last night 
created a highly favourable impression. The gala 
performance was attended by a distinguished 
company, including the Russian and Austro- Hungarian 
Ministers, with their ladies. 

Amnesty to Prisoners. 

' The newspapers here state that the King has 
granted an amnesty to all persons condemned 
for Press or political offences, and has reduced 
the sentences of those imprisoned for common 


Circular to Foreign Countries. 

The Servian Foreign Minister has sent a Circular 
Note to the Servian representatives abroad explaining 
the reasons which have led King Peter to form his 
first Cabinet from the same officials who composed 
the Provisional Government. The King thought 
that, in the present circumstances, he could not do 
better than entrust the Government to the men in 
whom the present Parliament had only a few days 
previously expressed its full confidence. One of the 
first tasks of the new Government would be to order 
new elections, and on the meeting of the new National 
Assembly the King would be able to form his second 
Cabinet from men who represented the majority. 

Proclamation to " My Dear, Heroic Army." 

6 p.m. 

The Official Journal publishes the following 
Army order issued by the King : 

" My dear Army, — On my setting foot on the 
soil of the dear Fatherland, my cradle and the cradle 
of my ancestors, my heart gives greeting first to 
you, the hope of the Servian people, my dear, heroic 
Army. Ascending the throne of my glorious ancestors, 
I also take over the supreme command of the whole 
Servian Army, which, under the leadership of my 
immortal grandfather, by its virtues and military 
successes astounded the world, and subsequently, 


in later wars for the liberation of the Servian people, 
afforded so many proofs of its military merits that 
I feel happy that the chief command has been en- 
trusted to me by the Servian people. 

"Officers, Non-Commissioned Officers, and Men, — 
At the solemn moment of taking over the supreme 
command, I greet you with the words, God be with 
you, you falcons of the Servian people ! 

" Officers ! I am happy, in taking over the 
supreme command, to see you all united around my 
throne, imbued with fidelity and loyalty to me and 
to the ideals of our Fatherland, and I will endeavour 
to maintain esprit de corps by judging and estimating 
you, each and all, solely according to your military 
services and merits. You are all equally dear to me, 
and I merely ask that you will devote yourself 
heartily to the calling which you have chosen, and 
will assist me to guide you to the path of honour 
and glory. I therefore cry, Long live the hope of 
the Servian people, the Army ! " — Renter. 



The assassination of the King and the Queen at 
Belgrade, which occurred in the early hours of the 
morning of June nth, was foreseen in London on the 
night of March 20th, 1903. The bloody tragedy in 
the Palace was seen clairvoyantly three months before 
it took place, and described in the hearing of at least 
a dozen credible witnesses. The fact was reported 
next day to the Servian Minister, who, on March 24th, 
made inquiry as to the accuracy of the information, 
and entered in his journal a brief statement of the 
vision described by the clairvoyant as he took it down 
from the lips of the principal witness. Four days 
later he wrote a private letter to King Alexander, 
with an urgent warning against assassination, specially 
emphasising the danger of an attack being made upon 
him within the walls of his own Palace. 

Of that warning no heed was taken, and on 
June nth the King and the Queen were murdered 
almost exactly as the clairvoyant had seen the tragedy 
performed. There were some slight discrepancies. 
There is some difference of recollection among those 



present as to whether the Queen escaped or whether 
she shared the fate of her husband, but with that 
exception the prediction was literally fulfilled. 

Compared with this remarkable instance of clair- 
voyant vision of things to come, the famous warning 
of the soothsayer who warned Julius Caesar to beware 
of the Ides of March sinks into insignificance. The 
fact has gone the round of the world. It is therefore 
well to place the details on permanent record. 

In the newspaper reports many inaccuracies occur, 
but the following narrative may be relied upon as 

I. — The First Question of Fact. 

In drawing up the statement of facts connected 
with this extraordinary case, I hesitated a good deal 
as to the best and simplest way of telling the story. 
At first I thought of giving the statements, one after 
another, of the fifteen persons who were present at 
the meeting where the prediction was first delivered. 
That, no doubt, would have had its advantages, and 
its adoption, if the Review were the report of the 
proceedings of a scientific society, would have been 
a matter of course. But on mature reflection it 
seemed to me that as in a trial for murder the first 
thing to be done is to establish the fact that someone 
has been murdered, after which evidence is taken for 
the purpose of ascertaining by whom the murder has 
been committed, so in an investigation as to a case of 


alleged clairvoyant prevision the first thing to be done 
is to produce evidence which will establish beyond all 
controversy the fact that such a prediction was actually 
uttered, was communicated to an official authority, 
and by him first entered in his archives, and after- 
wards reported to the person whom it most concerned. 
After this preliminary fact has been established, we 
can then go on to collect the evidence of witnesses 
who are in a position to testify at first hand as to how 
and by whom the prediction in question first came 
to be made. Hence the first and vital question is 
not who was the clairvoyant or who were present 
when her description was given. The essential 
points are whether in the month of March such a 
prediction was made, whether it was conveyed to 
the representative of the murdered monarch, and 
whether a warning based upon that prediction was 
sent to the King. On these points there is fortunately 
no flaw in the evidence. It is clear and precise, and 
it rests upon the first-hand testimony of an unim- 
peachable witness, who carefully committed to writing 
at the time the substance of the information which 
he received. 


M. Chedomille Mijatovich, the Servian Minister 
accredited to the Court of St. James by the late 
King of Servia, is no ordinary person. He is far 
and away the best known, the most distinguished, 


and the most respected diplomatist the Balkan 
Peninsula has yet produced. Nor is he merely a 
diplomatist. He is a statesman, a scholar, a historian, 
and a man of profound religious convictions. It 
was he who, twenty years ago, helped to found the 
Christian Messenger, which is still published at 
Belgrade for the purpose of infusing evangelical 
fervour into the Greek Orthodox Church. He 
translated Bunyan's *' Pilgrim's Progress " into 
Servian, as well as Dr. Brown's Commentaries to 
the Gospels, and it was thanks to his facile and 
industrious pen that the population of the Balkans 
became acquainted with the best sermons of Canon 
Liddon and of Mr. Spurgeon. He first became 
known as an able and courageous Minister of State 
in the dark days of 1876, and from that time to 
the present day he has constantly been summoned 
to the counsels of the King at times of crisis. He 
was a member of the late Servian Senate. He has 
represented Servia diplomatically at Constantinople, 
as well as in London. He was the Servian 
Plenipotentiary at the Conference at The Hague, 
and no delegate from any of the minor, or indeed 
of the major, States contributed more to secure the 
success of the Conference outside the walls of the 
House in the Wood. He is also the author of many 
historical works displaying painstaking research and 
deep erudition. His wife, an English lady, is also 
a writer, and her books have done much to make 
Servia and the Servians known to the Western 


world. M. Mijatovich commanded the confidence 
of both King Milan and King Alexander. He is 
well known in most of the capitals of Europe, and 
wherever he is known he is universally popular. 


It would be difficult to have a witness of greater 
repute than M. Mijatovich as to the fact which first 
of all has to be established, viz. that a warning was 
sent to the late King, based on information received 
from a clairvoyant, whose statement is as follows : 

** I, Chedomille Mijatovich, now residing at 51, 
Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, make this 
statement, as being, to the best of my knowledge 
and belief, a full and exact narrative of what I 
know of this remarkable affair. 

** I have long taken a deep interest in psychical 
research, and this brought me five or six years ago 
to make the acquaintance of Mr. Stead, the editor 
of Borderland and the Review of Reviews, Know- 
ing my interest in these subjects, Mr. Stead invited 
me to be present at a meeting in his office in 
Mowbray House, Norfolk Street, London, on Friday 
afternoon, March 20th, 1903, when a psychometrist 
of some repute was to give a demonstration of her 
capacity to receive impressions from articles held in 
her hand, of the origin and nature of which she had 
no information. The following is an extract from 
Mr. Stead's letter : 


" * On Friday next at our At Home we shall 
have a very good clairvoyant at Mowbray House. 
She has undertaken to do from twelve to twenty 
tests. That is to say, ten or twenty articles will be 
submitted to her at random, of all of which she will 
know nothing, and she will state what she sees 
in connection with each. I hope that you will be 
able to come and to bring with you one or two 
articles, the clairvoyant reading of which might be 
of interest or value. If, for instance, you could 
bring a shred of that historical garment, of which 

Mr. L spoke, which is in your possession, and 

which he said he would place at my disposal for 
the purpose of this investigation, or if you had any 
other article which was penetrated with the atmo- 
sphere either of, say, King Milan or Queen Draga, 
it would be very interesting to see if we could get 
anything out of them.' 

'' I accepted the invitation. The rooms at 
Mowbray House were crowded. The lady, whose 
name I was told was Mrs. Burchell, complained 
that the conditions were bad, and the experiment 
was a failure. 

'' Among the articles brought to Mowbray House 
for submission to the psychometrist was the signature 
of King Alexander. The name was signed in 
Cyrillic characters on a sheet of paper which was 
enclosed in an envelope. It was prepared in order 
to see whether the psychometrist from handling 
the envelope could ' sense ' and describe the person 



of the King. That was the sole object of the 
experiment. Nothing more was claimed or ex- 

'* Owing to the number of articles offered for 
experiment, and owing also to the abrupt termination 
of the trials, the envelope with the King's signature 
was not produced at Mowbray House. It was not 
submitted to Mrs. Burchell as a test. While I was 
present nothing was said as to its existence. 

*' When I quitted Mowbray House the King's 
signature was left with one of the company, Mr. 

L , who remained behind to dine with Mr. Stead, 

Mrs. Burchell, and some others. I was unable to stay 
to dinner, as I had to go to the Court at Buckingham 
Palace that evening. I returned home, feeling that 
the experiment had been a complete failure. 

" On the following morning, Saturday, March 21st, 
I was surprised to receive a visit at my house, 

51, Palace Gardens Terrace, from Mr. L . He 

said that after the dinner in the restaurant a stance had 
been held, at which he had submitted the envelope 
containing the King's signature to Mrs. Burchell. 
He told me that on receiving the envelope she had 
been thrown into a state of violent agitation. She 
had then described the assassination of the King and 
the attempted assassination of the Queen in the 
interior of his palace. He gave me many details 
which had convinced him that Mrs. Burchell had 
actually seen in clairvoyant vision the assassination 
of my Sovereign in the interior of his palace." 



" On the following Tuesday, March 24th, I made 
it my business to call at Mowbray House in order to 
ascertain from Mr. Stead his version of what had 

happened. I briefly told him what Mr. L had 

told me, and asked him whether such a scene had 
actually been described. On returning home I made 
an entry in my journal, of which the following is an 
exact copy: 

" * London (51, Palace Gardens Terrace), 
** * March 24th, 1903. 

** * This afternoon I went to Mowbray House, 
Norfolk Street, Victoria Embankment, to see Mr. 
William Stead (the Editor of Review of Reviews), 
and to ask him what it was that his clairvoyant of 
last Friday (March 20th) said of King Alexander. 
Mr. Stead told me. 

" * Mr. L gave her into her hand a small paper. 

She held it for a moment, and then said : " This is 
the signature of a young man in a very high position ! 
Yes, it is the signature of a king." (She then pro- 
ceeded to describe King Alexanders appearance.) 
"He has his Queen at his side ; she is a brunette, 
older than he. But, O God ! what do I see ! Oh, 
it is too terrible." . . . And then, Mr. Stead said, she 
suddenly fell on her knees, clasped excitedly her 
hands, and with closed eyes and uplifted head she 


prayed to the Great Spirit to — save them, if possible ! 
** I see them both, the King and Queen ; and there is 
a dark man with the dagger in hand. He tries to 
kill them ; it is a terrible struggle ; the Queen escapes 
unhurt, but the King is assassinated." Stead said 
Mrs. Bourcher (szc), the clairvoyant, was terribly 
agitated. She described what she saw in the presence 
of several ladies and gentlemen, who were deeply 
impressed with it.' " 


** Four days later, on March 28th, I wrote a letter 
to King Alexander, in the course of which I felt it 
my duty to warn him as to impending danger. I 
did not keep a copy of my letter, but I perfectly well 
remember the passage in question. I hold the Post 
Office receipt for the registered letter addressed ' A 
sa Majeste le Roi, Belgrade, Serbie.' I wrote as 
follows : 

*' * I know your Majesty will laugh as you usually 
laughed when I spoke to you about clairvoyance, so 
I am not going to give you all particulars about the 
latest experience which I have had, but I implore 
your Majesty to take all possible measures for your 
personal safety, not only when you drive about or 
when you go to the church or the theatre or to the 
park, but when in your palace especially, because I 
have reason to believe that an attempt will be made 
to assassinate you in your own palace.' 


" My wife read my letter before it was sent off, and 
she confirms the accuracy of this account of its con- 
tents. I may say that I had often talked to King 
Alexander about psychic experiences, but he always 
mocked, and would not take them seriously. I never 
before sent him any warning as to an attempt on his 

'* I was myself so deeply impressed by the im- 
portance of the clairvoyant's vision that I half ex- 
pected that the King, despite his scepticism, would 
summon me to Belgrade in order to hear more details. 
This expectation was not realised. He neither sent 
for me nor took any notice of my warning. 

'* When the news arrived of his tragic end, my 
thoughts instantly recurred to the warning which 
I had sent him, and I stated to several repre- 
sentatives of the Press the fact, which was duly 
published in the London evening newspapers of 
June nth." 

The foregoing narrative is sufficient, if it stood 
alone, to establish the fact that the prediction was 
made, and of the warning sent to Belgrade. It is 
quite possible that M. Mijatovich's letter will be 
found among the papers of the late King. That he 
sent it is attested not only by his own word and by 
that of Madame Mijatovich, who has confirmed the 
statement of her husband, but also by the Notting 
Hill Post-Office's certificate of a registered letter sent 
to the King of Servia. 


11. — Who First Heard the Prediction? 

Having thus established the essential fact that the 
prediction was communicated to the Servian Minister 
in March, we now come to the secondary question 
as to how, when, and where the clairvoyant vision 
took place. As I was the host on the occasion, I 
append a statement under my own name : 


I invited a numerous company, including M. Mijato- 

vich. Earl Grey, Mr. L , Mr. Gilbert Elliot, 

etc., to come on Friday, March 20th, 1903, to witness 
an experiment in psychometry by Mrs. Burchell at 
our weekly At Home in Mowbray House. 

The At Home at Mowbray House began at four 
in the afternoon. The psychometric experiment 
began an hour later, in the presence of seventy or 
eighty persons. In about half an hour it was seen 
that the conditions were adverse, and Mrs. Burchell 
went upstairs to give private sittings, where she 
succeeded much better, while the company remained 
below and discussed psychometry. This went on till 
after seven. As the company was departing Miss 

C (now Mrs. L ) tried on a beautiful Court 

dress brought by Mr. L , and Mr. Metcalf, Mrs. 

Brenchley, and Mrs. Manks described the impressions 
which they received from the dress. About eight 
we went up to the restaurant of Gatti and Rodesano, 


Strand. The following is a list of the company- 
present, with their addresses : 

(I sat at the head of the table, with Mrs. Burchell 

on my right and Mrs. Manks on my left. Mr. L 

sat at the opposite end of the table, next to my 
private secretary, on the other side to Mrs. Burchell.) 


W. T. Stead, Cambridge House, Wimbledon, 
with his sister and daughter. 

Gilbert Elliot, Highfield, Mottingham, Kent. 

Andrew Glendinning, 11, St. Philip's Road, 

C. E. Money, Petersfield. 

Mr. and Mrs. L . 

Mr. H. Blackwell, Queen's Road, Finsbury Park. 

Mr. D. Macdonald, Eupatoria, St. Stephen's 
Road, Hounslow. 

Mr. Metcalf, Queen's Road, Finsbury Park. 

Mrs. Burchell, Girlington Road, Bradford. 

Mrs. Brenchley, iii, St. Thomas's Road, Fins- 
bury Park. 

Mrs. Manks, 166, Marylebone Road, London. 

Mrs. Wilson, St. Clement's Mansions. 

My Private Secretary, Mowbray House. 

The names of Mr. and Mrs. L and their 

addresses are in my possession, but they prefer that 
at present they should only be mentioned by their 

All those persons, with the exception of Mr. 


Money, remained until after Mrs. Burchell's pre- 
diction, which was uttered after ten o'clock. At that 
time we had been together about six hours, and were 
rather tired and disappointed, and were certainly 
not expecting anything unusual. The sitting after 
dinner was in no sense a test sitting, like that which 
had been prepared in the afternoon. No preparations 
were made for taking notes, and, so far as I know, 
none were taken. 


During dinner the conversation was general. We 
talked at my end of the table about many things, 

and as Mr. L was present, I talked about him 

and about Servia. But so far as I can remember 
the name of the King was never mentioned, nor was 
anything said that directly or indirectly could suggest 
the idea of his assassination. No such thought was 
present to my mind. As for Mrs. Burchell, she is 
a plain North Country woman, who dispenses 
medicine of her own making, who has had a family 
of ten children, and who did not seem to me a person 
who had either interest in or knowledge of the Balkan 
Peninsula. She has since, in the 5/. James s Gazette, 
written, "As to my knowledge of Servian affairs, 
I was then completely ignorant, and did not know 
either the King's name or the Queen's antecedents 
or name, or anything in connection with them in 
any way." She was tired and silent at dinner, 
depressed by the consciousness of the afternoon 



failure at psychometry, and I addressed most of my^ 
remarks to Mrs. Manks. 


After the dinner there were several descriptions- 
given by Mrs. Burchell of the impressions which 
she received in connection with various members 
of the company. It was in her description of the 

impressions she received from Mr. L that he 

nodded from time to time ; an indiscretion which 
led to a protest from my private secretary. This, 
however, had nothing to do with the vision of the 
assassination. When the prediction was made Mrs. 
Burchell had her eyes closed. I had no idea, while 
she was speaking, whether she was describing a 
tragedy that had taken place long ago or was pre- 
dicting what would happen. I did not know what 
was in the envelope which she placed to her brow 
until after all was over. When the paper was taken 
out of the envelope, not being able to decipher the 

Cyrillic characters, I asked Mr. L whose name 

it was. He replied, ''The King." He then entered 
into conversation with Mrs. Burchell, but I did not 
hear what she said. 

The other two clairvoyants present, Mrs. 
Brenchley and Mrs. Manks, declared that they saw 
the same scene when it was in progress, and Mrs. 
Brenchley was only one degree less excited than 
Mrs. Burchell. It was she who added the detail 
about the Russian uniforms. 


Immediately after this vision Mrs. Burchell left 
with other of my guests. A few remained for another 
hour, when other delineations and predictions were 
made, of which, however, it is unnecessary to speak 

As I was on my way home in the midnight train 
to Wimbledon I met a journalistic friend of mine, 
Mr. Arthur Hawkes, then London editor of the 
Manchester Dispatch, and told him what had taken 
place. He has given me the following brief note of 
the conversation as it was graven on the tablets 
of his memory : 

*' I read of the assassination of the King and 
Queen of Servia on arriving at Madeira from Cape- 
town on June 22nd, and in the Daily Telegraph saw 
.an account of a prediction of the crime at a dinner 
given by Mr. Stead on March 20th. I immediately 
told Mr. Reed, of Johannesburg, who had called 
my attention to the paragraph, that I was present 
at the meeting at Mowbray House on the afternoon 
of that day, and missed being at the dinner through 
having left Mowbray House before the afternoon 
meeting was concluded. But going home late that 
evening I accidentally met Mr. Stead at Waterloo, 
and rode with him as far as Wimbledon. On the 
way he told me about the dinner and sdance, saying 
that a lady had predicted the assassination of King 
Alexander and Queen Draga. Not being a credulous 
person, I laughed at the prophecy, and said that any- 
body might predict one assassination and not be far 


wrong, but to be asked to believe that the murder of 
a King and Queen together could be foreseen was 
more than I could stand. I state this fact merely as 
confirmatory of the abundant evidence that the assas- 
sination was foreseen, and do not covet psychic gifts. 

'' Arthur Hawkes. 

'• 8, Trinity Road, Wimbledon, 
*'June 2Zth, 1903." 

His evidence is valuable as proving — (i) that my 
impression at the time was that both King and Queen 
were assassinated ; (2) that the prediction seemed 
palpably absurd to an experienced journalist to whom 
it was communicated. 


Mr. L , on being asked to describe what had 

passed at the dinner and after it, said that he was 
present when the envelope ' containing the King's 
signature was given to Mrs. Burchell, that he heard 
her description of the King and Queen, and of the 
murder in the palace, and that on the following 
morning he communicated the facts, which were 
vividly present to his mind, to M. Mijatovich. He 
had opened the envelope during the dinner and had 
showed the signature to Mr. Stead's private secretary, 
who sat next to him at a considerable distance from 
Mrs. Burchell, who sat at the extreme end of the 
table. At the stance after dinner she did not take the 
sheet of paper out of the envelope. It was not until 


after the prediction was finished that it was taken out 

of the envelope and Mr. L was asked what the 

word in Cyrillic characters referred to. It was a plain 
sheet of paper, without any crest or sign to suggest 
Royalty. With the exception of himself and Mr. 
Stead's private secretary, no one in the room knew 
what the envelope contained. The description of the 
King and the Queen were exact. Mrs. Brenchley, 
another clairvoyant present, added the detail that 
the soldiers seemed to wear Russian uniforms. The 
Servian uniform very closely resembles the Russian. 
He did not take notes. Everything passed very 
rapidly. After Mrs. Burchell finished he entered into 
conversation with her. She told him that the murder 
she had witnessed would certainly take place unless 
great care was taken to prevent it. She did not 
mention Servia, nor did she give the name either of 
the King or the Queen. 


As might be expected from the prolonged and 
broken-up sittings, the fifteen witnesses who were 
present at the sdance vary a little in their recollection 
of the precise details. But with the exception of my 
private secretary, who remembers nothing, and of 
" Sylvanus," whose letters are sufficient to put him 
out of court as a serious witness, all the other 
members of the company state that they clearly re- 
member Mrs. Burchell's agitation after she took the 
envelope in her hands, and they all assert that they 



















■ ( 



heard her describe on her knees a tragic scene inside 
a palace where a King was murdered, while the 
Queen prayed in vain for the murderers to stay 
their hand. 

Of the witnesses, Mrs. L , who had never 

before witnessed such a scene, gives the clearest 
and most detailed accounts. Mrs. Burchell also has 
a vivid recollection of what passed ; but although 
they all differ in the degree of the fulness of their 
memory of details, they all are absolutely at one as 
to the central fact, of the tragic vision, described by 
Mrs. Burchell after she grasped the envelope with 
the King's signature. 


My private secretary, who was not paying much 
attention to what passed, does not remember any- 
thing that Mrs. Burchell said when she fell on her 
knees. He does not even remember that she did 
fall on her knees, and the incident has so completely 
escaped his memory, that he is of opinion that he 
must have left the room before it took place. This, 
however, was not the fact. Others who were present 
can swear that he did not leave till Mrs. Burchell 
had finished. Mr. Macdonald, who appears to have 
written two letters to the 5/. James s Gazette over 
the signature *' Sylvanus," which reveal some of his 
defects as a witness, can remember the incident. He 
recalls the fact that Mrs. Burchell stated the envelope 


was from Royalty, and he admits that she made 
statements that could be applied to Servia and to its 
murdered monarch. He endeavours to explain it 
away by saying that she knew of the relationship 

between Mr. L and the family of the King. 

There is no such relationship. Neither was Mr. 

L a friend of the King. In his first letter 

" Sylvanus " tried to explain the prediction away, 
but in a second letter he roundly asserts that Mrs. 
Burchell '' gave no such prediction as that which had 
been generally reported." As a dozen other guests 
are prepared to swear that they heard her make the 
prediction, and as the Servian Minister deemed it his 
duty to report it to the King eight days later, the 
worth of " Sylvanus's " statement may be estimated 
at its true value. Of the fifteen persons present when 
Mrs. Burchell made her prediction, two were deter- 
mined and inveterate sceptics, four were clairvoyants, 
five believed in the reality of clairvoyance, and four 
were persons who, like Mr. Balfour, had no settled 
convictions on the question. 

III. — What Actually Took Place. 

' After the assassination I asked my former guests 
to write out or to tell me exactly what they re- 
membered of the famous sdance. The following^ 
narrative is compiled from the communications made 
to me together with my own recollection of what 
took place. 


It was after ten o'clock at the restaurant when 

Mr. L thrust an envelope into Mr. Stead's hand, 

saying, *' Try her with that." Mr. Stead took the 
envelope, not knowing what it contained, and waited 
till the good lady had finished a description to the 
last of her sitters. She was getting tired, and 
wished to go home. Mr. Stead put the envelope in 
her hands, and asked her to try once more and see 
if she could get anything with it. 

Mrs. Burchell took the envelope in her two hands 
and sat for a moment still. She turned the envelope 
round and round once or twice, and then said in a 
loud, clear voice, '* Royalty ! An important person — 
a king ! " 

The announcement riveted attention, and we 
listened eagerly for what was to follow. Mrs. 
Burchell spoke with extreme rapidity, and in breathless 
excitement. There was nothing to indicate that the 
medium was in a trance. She had been talking 
quite normally just before Mr. Stead gave her the 
envelope. Her eyes were closed, but this might 
have been done to aid in abstracting her from her sur- 
roundings. She spoke exactly as if she were looking 
through a window into an interior, and describing 
what she saw to us who were beside her. Near to 
her were two other clairvoyants, Mrs. Brenchley and 
Mrs. Manks. 

Mrs. Burchell began by saying, "Royalty! An 
important person — a king. He is standing in a 
room in his palace. He is dark ; stout body, and 


long neck. With him is a lady, the Queen — brunette. 
And there," pointing to a corner of the room, " I 
see a child." 

Then, becoming very excited, the medium ex- 
claimed : 

** Terrible ! terrible ! It is all bloody. I cannot 
Lear to look. Oh, it is terrible! I cannot bear it. 
I see a very dark man rushing into the chamber. 
He tries to kill the King. The lady implores them 
to spare him. Oh " 

And with a cry of horror Mrs. Burchell suddenly 
flung herself upon her knees in such a way Mr. 
Stead thought she would fall, and stretched out his 
hand to save her. She did not fall, however, but 
with clasped hands the medium continued in a voice 
of agonised entreaty : 

" They are killing him. Oh, save him, save him ! 
The Queen falls on her knees and implores them to 
save her life — they will not listen. Oh, what tumult, 
what bloodshed ! How terrible — they kill him ; she 
pleads in vain. Now they fling her on one side and 
stab her with a dagger. And — oh — ! — oh " 

And then Mrs. Burchell, exhausted with emo- 
tion, was falling over on her side on to the floor, 
when Mr. Stead got her up and put her on her 

When Mrs. Burchell fell on her knees, Mrs. 
Brenchley sprang up, saying, '' Yes, yes, I get it in 
the air. They are killing him; I see it." *'And I 
also," said Mrs. Manks, clasping hands with Mrs. 


Brenchley, and both following her distracted cries 
and utterances with cries of **Yes, yes! We see 
it ; she is quite right." 

Mrs. Burchell in her agitation dropped the envelope 
on the floor. Mrs. Brenchley picked it up, and hold- 
ing it continued to describe the scene in an agitation 
only a little less than Mrs. Burchell's, exclaiming, 
*' Oh, the blood — how horrible ! Look how dark 
it becomes ; see — the soldiers are coming upon us — 
shooting down all they meet " 

*' What are they like ?" asked someone. 

"They seem to me like Russian uniforms; but 
it is dark and I cannot see clearly." 

Mrs. Brenchley, it may be stated, visited Russia 
last year. 

*' Now the King is dead!" she cried. ** But oh, 
what confusion ! what bloodshed ! " 

All these ejaculatory comments were rapidly uttered 
as Mrs. Burchell was being helped to her seat, and 
not much notice was taken of them at the time. 
Mrs. Brenchley, however, declares that she has a 
lively recollection of what she saw and what she 

Mr. Stead turned an inquiring gaze to Mr. L , 

who had given him the envelope. We were all 
under the impression of the extraordinary dramatic 
force with which Mrs. Burchell had described the 
death scene and acted the despairing pleading of 
the Queen. But none of us knew in what Court the 
tragedy had been or was to be enacted. 



*' What was in the envelope ? " Mr. Stead asked. 

'' Look," said Mr. L . Opening the envelope, 

he took out a sheet of notepaper, on which was 
the signature, '' Alexander." 

" It is the King," said he. 

*'But," said Mr. Stead, ^'her description— was it 

correct ? " 

''It was exact," he replied. '^ The palace, the 
King, the Queen. Her description is exact." 

And then the medium, who had been silent as if 
recovering from the emotion through which she had 
passed, said to my friend, *' Depend upon it, it will 
all happen as I have seen it, if nothing is done to 
prevent it, and that ere long." 

Mrs. Burchell's own version is that she added, 
'' Even then, although they may postpone it, it will 
certainly come to pass." 

The whole of the foregoing narrative has been 
submitted in proof to all the sitters. All of them— 
with the exception of my private secretary, who can- 
not remember, and Mr. Macdonald, who first explains 
the prediction and then denies that it was ever made— 
confirm the general accuracy of the whole story. All 
the rest remember the extreme agitation of the 
clairvoyant, the dramatic rendering of the entreaties 
of the Queen, the description of the murder of the 
King in the interior of his palace in a scene of 
terrible tumult and bloodshed. 

In the next number of the J^emew I shall publish 


the sequel to this story, telling how the Society for 
Physical Research investigated this case. It is a 
narrative which sheds a flood of light upon the 
methods of this Society, and will be read with interest 
by all interested in the subject. 

PrinUd by HttMtllf Wataon <$• Viney, Ld., London and AyUsbuiy. 



Return to desk from which borrowed. 
This book is DUE on the last date stamped below. 

riEC'O LD 

SEP 2 b 1956 

f^ I'^t)'^ 




JUN 2 4 1963 

MAR 2 7 1979 

MAR 9 1973 


VC 47023